Marc Marquez’s contact with Dani Pedrosa at the Aragon round cost his teammate, but now there’s going to be a mark on his own record as well – no pun intended.
At Aragon, Marquez clipped his teammate and damaged Pedrosa’s traction control system. Predictably, Pedrosa ended up in the weeds shortly afterwards, while Marquez won the race.
However, pretty much everyone who saw the incident figured Marquez would end up paying, and he has, to the tune of another penalty point, giving him three for the year. One more penalty point, and he’ll be starting from the back of the pack.
The crack-up also cost the factory team; not only was Pedrosa’s potential points haul taken away, but Race Direction also stripped HRC of the 25 points they got for Marquez’s win, as a penalty for what they deemed was a faulty design. Since the incident, Honda has taken steps to protect the traction control system on their bikes, but this move will set them back.
Meanwhile, further back in the ranks, Karel Abraham finally received his needed shoulder surgery. Abraham went home to the Czech Republic to receive some much-needed repairs to his left shoulder, after mashing it up at a crash at the Indianpolis round. While they were messing around in there, they also took out some metal bracing that had been put in there earlier in the year to repair another fracture. These days, when you talk about patching up riders after a crash, it sounds a lot like an episode from the Six Million Dollar Man.
Anyway, Abraham’s season is over, but he said “I’m happy to have got it over with, and after the rehab’s finished I’m sure I’ll be able to once again give 100 per cent in my training and riding. I’ve got the whole winter in front of me, and the aim is to be able to go into the pre-season testing without anything holding me back. It’ll be a while of course before I’m able to get back on the bike, but I’m counting on going to the Masaryk Circuit this Sunday to watch the Marco Simoncelli Memorial Ride.”
“pretty much everyone who saw the incident figured Marquez would end up paying”
That’s optimistic at best. The issue has been a hotbed of controversy and forums/blogs all over were rife with arguments on both sides. I think that Honda’s penalty is fair, but I think MM getting a point for such a ridiculously small love tap actually sets a bad precedent. Racing involves accidental touches all the time. MM’s touch with Pedrosa was exactly that, an accidental touch. Had Honda not had a single and completely exposed TC sensor at the back of the bike, there wouldn’t have been anything to discuss. The tap didn’t even really unsettle the bike.
So, now the precedent has been set that even if your opponent’s bike is (mis)designed to set you up for the fall, fall you will.
All that said, I do understand why Race Control took the stand they did. MM has had a fairly impressive history of leaving no margin for error. Their stand is that they want to send MM the message that he’d better start leaving that margin lest the consequences be more serious next time.
I can accept that and I also accept how entirely $!@^&* Pedrosa is/was with MM with what could only be the virtual demise of Pedrosa’s final chance in the premier class to win a title. I feel sorry for Dani, as he has had some of the most miserable luck of any rider to have multiple championships under his belt from the lower classes. MotoGP has not been kind to Pedrosa. He’s got to be probably the best rider to never win a MotoGP championship.
If MM does wind up getting a 4th point against his license this season, we’ll be well placed to witness one of his brilliant hell-bent-for-leather, come-from-the-rear races. His two Moto2 races from the back of the grid were epic to the point of looking like something out of a PlayStation game.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some clever chap in Dorna’s marketing dept asked for that exact scenario. It would make for great viewership numbers!
The anti-tinfoil-hatness in me says that can’t be the case. Watching MM come from the back of the pack says it’s totally doable. Choose your poison. 🙂