After MotoGP clash with Alex Marquez: Penalty for Francesco Bagnaia!

Best time of the day and a confident entry into Q2 – MotoGP training Friday in front of home fans in Mugello could not have started much better for Francesco Bagnaia. While the reigning world champion usually starts a race weekend inconspicuously, this time he was surprisingly dominant. He beat the rest of the field by almost three tenths of a second in the afternoon session. But one scene clouded his otherwise strong training Friday.

In the final phase of the training, Bagnaia had clashed with Gresini rider Alex Marquez. The latter felt hampered by the MotoGP defending champion on a fast lap. Marquez had a serious wobble when braking for ‘Correntaio’, the long right-hand bend T12, after Bagnaia had driven off the racing line in front of him – too late, from the Spaniard’s point of view.

Alex Marquez was visibly angry with Francesco Bagnaia, Photo: MotoGP Twitter - Screenshot
Alex Marquez was visibly angry with Francesco Bagnaia, Photo: MotoGP Twitter – Screenshot

Francesco Bagnaia vs. Alex Marquez: MotoGP stewards investigate long

Marquez immediately made his displeasure clear with an angry hand gesture, while Bagnaia paid no attention to his brand colleague and returned to the pits to change tires without reacting. It was only a few moments before the race management announced that the incident would be investigated. However, a decision by the MotoGP stewards, including former 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer, was a long time coming.

It was not until 7:40 p.m., almost four hours after the incident, that they announced their verdict: Bagnaia had indeed been too slow on the racing line and had hindered Marquez on a fast lap, which is a violation of Article 1.21.2 of the MotoGP regulations. The Ducati rider was therefore given a grid penalty and moved back three positions in his home Grand Prix on Sunday.

Francesco Bagnaia surprised: punishment would be ridiculous!

A decision that Bagnaia had not expected in his media round a few hours earlier. “First of all, no blue flags were waved and then I was off the racing line. He [Alex Marquez, Anm.] was once again a good actor, he himself caused the movement in his bike. If I were to get a penalty for that, it would be pretty ridiculous. I am now waiting for the verdict, but I don’t really expect a penalty,” he announced at the time.

Unsurprisingly, Alex Marquez saw the incident completely differently. “He was driving slowly in the middle of the racing line, I came from behind and improved my lap time at that point. That’s pretty clear to me. He didn’t turn around at one point and look to see who was coming from behind,” the Gresini driver describes. “I was on a hot lap and he was in the middle of the track. Immediately afterwards he drove into the pits. When you drive into the pits, you have to watch out for the other drivers who come quickly from behind.”

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