Penalties Galore: Takaaki Nakagami Disqualified For Illegal Air Filter, Penalty Points For Cortese And Simeon

Race Direction were busy at Qatar. Penalties were handed out for one incident during Moto2 qualifying practice on Saturday and two incidents during the Moto2 race on Sunday. Sandro Cortese and Xavier Simeon were handed one penalty point a piece, while Takaaki Nakagami was disqualified for using an illegal air filter in his Idemitsu Honda Moto2 machine.

The disqualification of Nakagami was the most far-reaching of the punishments. During the standard technical inspection after the race, Takaaki Nakagami's Kalex Honda was found to be using an illegal air filter. Under Moto2 regulations, only the standard filter supplied with the spec Moto2 engine may be used. Though the error by Nakagami's crew was believed to have been an honest mistake, the rule book is very clear. The Idemitsu Honda team appealed against the penalty, but their appeal was rejected.

The disqualification is a major blow for the Japanese rider, robbing him of a 2nd place finish and 20 valuable points. His removal from the standings move all those behind him up a position, putting Mika Kallio into 2nd and Tom Luthi into 3rd. Given how tight the Moto2 championship is likely to be, the points lost by Nakagami and gained by Kallio and Luthi could well play a significant part in the outcome.

Belgian rider Xavier Simeon was awarded a penalty point for an incident earlier in the race. Simeon went down in a first-lap clash with Josh Herrin, Johann Zarco and Alex de Angelis, and pushed Herrin in an altercation while the two were standing in the gravel. Simeon was judged to have acted in a way prejudicial to the sport, and awarded a single penalty point.

Yesterday, Sandro Cortese was also handed a penalty point for slowing down on the racing line in the last minutes of qualifying. The incident caused a collision between Cortese and Jordi Torres, with both men falling. Cortese was judged to have been at fault, and punished with penalty points. Cortese came off worst from the incident anyway, breaking a bone in his ankle.

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isn't punished for the accident, only for his behaviour after !

Isn't disqualifying a little too much? I understand that the rules are clear but I find it pretty unfair for Nakagami because it wasn't his fault. Why not some points/position penalty for the next race instead or a fine for the team? Just my 0.02 cents

Wow, that's harsh. Although I have to ask, if there is only one certified air filter, why do they even have another type of air filter on hand for the bike? Or is it that specific air filter? Does the engine come supplied with an air filter tagged to the engine, so that they can't replace it; even with an identical unit?

Considering every moto2 team should know about which air filter Dorna wants the teams to use, I can't help but wonder what an 'illegal' air filter is doing on the premises. Then in my opinion he should be disqualified, so they should Simeon for the next race or anyone using physical contact to vent their frustrations.

That is really too bad for Nakagami, he can't catch a break it seems. A mechanic in the garage should know better. As for the altercation in the gravel trap, racing for position one moment and then finding yourself in the kitty litter the next is enough for any racer to loose their cool. Taking it out on the nearest object/person isn't right but can be understood under the heated circumstances. A peanalty point is just.

I thought Cortese slowed after the flag had come out. He might have still been on the racing line, but anyone behind him had already crossed the line too right?