MotoGP Penalty Points: Sepang Sees Punishments Handed Out, Marquez Has Highest Total

If there was any doubt that Race Direction in MotoGP is trying to impose a stricter code of behavior on riders in all three Grand Prix classes, the bumper crop of penalty points issued at Aragon and Sepang makes their intention clear. At Aragon, three penalty points were awarded: One for Alessandro Tonucci in Moto3, for staying on the line during qualifying, and one for Sandro Cortese for the incident in the Moto2 race, when he touched Alex De Angelis, causing the Italian to crash.

The most discussed penalty was of course the one issued for Marc Marquez, who was penalized for the touch on Dani Pedrosa which severed the cable to Pedrosa's rear wheel speed sensor, confusing the electronics and causing the unlucky Pedrosa to be ejected from his Repsol Honda. Marquez had to wait until Sepang to be hear what the punishment for that incident would be, after Race Direction asked for more data.

At Sepang, a couple more penalty points were handed out. One to Pol Espargaro, for not respecting the newly instated starting zones, and cutting across in front of other riders waiting to do a practice start, and one for Maverick Viñales, for his excessively robust move in the run to the finish line, when he barged Jack Miller aside to grab 5th place.

Ten riders have now been issued penalty points, for incidents ranging back to Jerez. The two repeat offenders now lead the Table Of Shame, Marc Marquez leading Maverick Viñales, with Ricky Cardus on the same number of points as Viñales, despite only having committed a single offence. Marquez has a total of 3 points, the single point issued for the incident at Aragon coming on top of 2 points awarded for the crash at Silverstone during morning warm up, when he ignored yellow flags and sent the marshalls scurrying for cover as they worked to clear Cal Crutchlow's fallen bike, an incident that could have had very serious consequences. Viñales' 2 points came in separate incidents, 1 for the barge at Sepang, and 1 for pushing his bike the wrong way down pit lane at Mugello.

Only Marquez is in any real danger of suffering a penalty, however. The Spaniard's total of 3 points brings him within a single point of being forced to start from the back of the grid. It would take only a relatively minor misdeed to handicap Marquez, and Race Direction are hoping that such a prospect will rein him in for the rest of the season.

Accumulating a total of 4 points will force Marc Marquez - or any rider - to start from the back of the grid. If a rider amasses 7 points, they are forced to start from pit lane, 10 seconds after the rest of the field has cleared. A total of 10 penalty points means automatic disqualification from the next race. Penalty points will be wiped clean at the end of the season, giving all riders the opportunity to start 2014 with a completely clean slate.

Current penalty point totals:

No Rider Class Points total
93 Marc Marquez MotoGP 3
88 Ricard Cardus Moto2 2
25 Maverick Viñales Moto3 2
4 Andrea Dovizioso MotoGP 1
29 Andrea Iannone MotoGP 1
8 Hector Barbera MotoGP 1
40 Pol Espargaró Moto2 1
11 Sandro Cortese Moto2 1
97 Rafid Topan Sucipto Moto2 1
19 Alessandro Tonucci Moto3 1


Table of all penalty points issued so far, and for what:

Race Date Session Class No. Rider Infringement Article infringed Penalty points imposed Total points 2013
Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix 13 Oct 2013 WUP Moto2 40 Pol Espargaró Irresponsible riding, crossing the track in front of riders in the Practice Start zone 1.21.2 and 1.21.16 1 1
Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix 13 Oct 2013 Race Moto3 25 Maverick Viñales Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider. 1.21.2 1 2
Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón 29 Sep 2013 Race MotoGP 93 Marc Marquez Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider. 1.21.2 1 3
Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón 28 Sep 2013 Q Moto3 19 Alessandro Tonucci Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider 1.21.2 1 1
Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón 28 Sep 2013 Race Moto2 11 Sandro Cortese Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider. 1.21.2 1 1
GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini 14 Sep 2013 Q Moto2 88 Ricard Cardus Did not respect the Yellow Flag 1.22.2 2 2
Hertz British Grand Prix 1 Sep 2013 WUP MotoGP 93 Marc Marquez Did not respect the Yellow Flag 1.22.2 2 2
bwin Grand Prix České republiky 24 Aug 2013 Q2 MotoGP 29 Andrea Iannone Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider 1.21.2 1 1
IVECO TT Assen 28 Jun 2013 Q1 MotoGP 8 Hector Barbera Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider 1.21.2 1 1
IVECO TT Assen 28 Jun 2013 Q1 MotoGP 4 Andrea Dovizioso Striking another rider 1 1
Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya 15 Jun 2013 Q Moto3 25 Maverick Viñales Riding in the opposite direction in the Pit Lane 1.21.2 1 1
Gran Premio bwin de España 5 May 2013 Race Moto2 97 Rafid Topan Sucipto Did not respect the Blue Flag 1.22.1 1 1


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When did Marquez say that he ignored the yellow flags?

It's hard to ignore something you didn't see and that was the case according to Marquez himself.

I bet that if Rossi or Lorenzo crashed there, instead of Marquez, no penalty points would have been given.

If he can't do that, then he doesn't belong on a race track.

Anyhow bullshit on his claim not to have seen the flag. A cynical observation from the many races where I've worked as a corner marshall (including MotoGPs)... the visibility of flags seems to be directly related to their meaning. Yellow and red stripes (oil, debris, etc) always seem to get noticed while a black flag next to a riders number is apparently nearly invisible.

For touching Marc? I mean if they're going to start handing out points for that, then they need to be consistent, right?

Let's be honest. Unless he brings a billy club out onto the track and starts smacking other riders mid-race there is no way that Dorna is going to handicap their Spanish, Repsol-backed golden boy at this point in his season. This penalty point system is a whole bunch of blustering.

At this rate, the penalties will soon be handed out like candy at Halloween.. or F1.

The frequency and triviality of penalties handed out in F1 is pretty ridiculous, IMO. I don't want to see this trend continue in that direction.

I have been watching all season, and noticed how the system is a joke. Why is it that Vinales gets a penalty point in the last corner but Hayden makes huge contact in Indy with Dovi going over the curb, getting air. Back in Jerez Marquez makes contact with Lorenzo. Marquez and Hayden both earned no points. The system is inconsistent.

I can't believe that Vinales got a point. What a joke... they need to be good sportsman, but it is a race for god's sake. From what I saw it was Jack that turned into Vinales on the run to the line anyway, or maybe that wasn't what the point was for?

Whatever, unless someone is injured or crashes because of a move, or very nearly crashes, there's just no cause for it.

Watch again.... Miller was holding a straight line (with a wheel ahead of Vinales) and Vinales made a direct and deliberate swerve into Miller. In fact, from the angle I saw it, Miller actually had Vinales beat but lost ground after he was hit. I totally get the "racing contact" part, especially when you're battling in the corners, but swerving in to somebody on a straightaway is complete bullshyt and is blatant dickhead behavior.