Yamaha skewers MotoGP stewards over ‘inequality’ of Quartararo penalty

Yamaha reacts angrily to the decision by MotoGP stewards to roll over a double long lap penalty for championship leader Fabio Quartararo at Silverstone

Fabio Quartararo - Yamaha

Yamaha has issued a statement condemning the decision by MotoGP stewards to hand Fabio Quartararo a penalty for the next MotoGP round at Silverstone following his collision with title rival Aleix Espargaro during the Dutch MotoGP at Assen.

In a season that has seen the defending champion commit precious few errors as he seeks back-to-back world titles, Quartararo suffered a nightmare Sunday in the Netherlands when he fell while trying to overtake Espargaro at the slow De Strubben hairpin on Lap 5.

A corner that had seen several riders come down over the course of the weekend - including three in qualifying alone - while Quartararo’s angle of attack was awkward, he wasn’t pushing up alongside the Aprilia man before he went down.

However, when the front-end folded it forced him into the side of Espargaro, who stayed upright but was forced to crawl through the gravel trap, dropping him to 15th.

Quartararo remounted before pitting, but upon returning to the circuit suffered a vicious high-side from which he was lucky to escape injury.

Nonetheless, the stewards came down hard on Quartararo regardless, slapping him with a double long lap penalty for the next round at Silverstone, which takes place after the summer break on 7 August.

It’s a ruling that has angered Yamaha, with team manager Lin Jarvis declaring he wanted to take an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but is unable to because it does not cover such a decision.

“Fabio Quartararo, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team, and Yamaha have always striven for fairness and sportsmanship in MotoGP. We are disappointed to see the inequality with which penalties are applied by the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel.”

"The inconsistency with which penalties are applied by the FIM MotoGP™ Stewards panel during the 2022 season damages the fairness of MotoGP and the faith in the Stewards‘ jurisdiction. 

“There have been at least three more serious race incidents in the MotoGP Class (resulting in riders retiring from the race and/or causing injuries) that were left unpunished."

“We wanted to appeal the decision of the Stewards on Sunday at the Assen track, but this type of penalty is not open to discussion or appeal. We then wanted to raise the issue, as a matter of principle, with CAS (Court of Arbitration of Sport), but equally such a matter is not open to appeal. 

“It is precisely for these reasons that correct, balanced, and consistent decisions should be taken by the Stewards in the first place and executed within the correct, reasonable time frame.”

While Quartararo came away empty-handed for the first time this season at Assen, to his credit Espargaro produced a sparkling fight back to fourth place, a run capped off but a superb double overtake on an unawares Brad Binder and Jack Miller into the final corner of the final lap.

The gap between the pair at the head of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship standings is now 21 points.

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