Fabio Quartararo Handed 3-Second Penalty For Finishing Barcelona MotoGP Race With Unzipped Leathers

Fabio Quartararo has been hand a 3-second penalty after the conclusion of the Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona, for riding with his leathers open. The Frenchman's leathers came open in the first half of lap 21, after which he discarded his chest protector, and he went on to finish the remaining laps with the leathers completely open, the wind having forced the zip open completely.

At the time, Quartararo was allowed to continue the race, crossing the line in third position, though he was later demoted to fourth for exceeding track limits at Turn 1. Five hours after the race, the Frenchman was handed a second penalty, for riding with his leathers open. That 3 second penalty put him behind Joan Mir and Maverick Viñales, dropping him to sixth on the race results.

The penalty was issued for contravening section - Rider’s Safety Equipment - of the FIM MotoGP regulations. That section states:

The equipment must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity.

Quartararo had attempted to close his leathers again, but once the zip is completely open, it is very difficult to close while wearing gloves. The zip had opened all the way to below the waist, and zipping it back up again would have required two hands to do properly.

The race results and championship standings posted earlier have already been amended to include the penalty issued to Quartararo.


Back to top


The English commentary said that the French broadcasters reported his airbag inflated. Sounds plausible but doesn't change the penalty/result. 

I hope Yamaha appeals this. A travesty. Really, I'm so cranked up about this I'm ready to walk away from MotoGP for good. And don't get me started about Mir, what a wanker. Like he has never tossed a tearoff on the track.

About the only appeal Yamaha might make would be the self immolation of demanding he be disqualified....like should have been done at the time!!! The only travesty here is the Fabio was allowed to gain any points at all!!!

He should have been black flagged. He wasn't, end of story. A black flag is not a punishment, its for rider safety. Once he finished safely, DQ after the fact should never have been an option.

They missed the opportunity to blackflag him - the purpose of a black flag being to protect the rider and those around him. They should be the ones penalised not the rider. But they shat their pants when Ducati started making threats. If I were Yamaha I would use all legal means at my disposal to get these points back. Just as a reminder and to put certain actions in context  when Miller tried to run off Mir, Suzuki/Mir didn't complain. For rules to work, they need to be clearly defined, need to have clear enforceable penalties attached to them and be applied consistently, otherwise the whole business risks descending into a farce where championships will be won in lawyers offices in Switzerland. 

one other thing, if the organisers are turning the sport into one that will take place both on track and in the stewards room then we need the photos and names of these stewards and the reasoning behind their decisions. All sports that use this kind of process do this: tennis, rugby, cricket, not sure about football or other sports. 

Does rather smack of a hurried attempt to head off any protests (Ducati would have already had people on it, lets be honest) likely to have been coming. Doesn't change the fact it was a clear omission of a black flag.

Something has to be defined properly, because if a rider knows he can't continue without penalty he could pull to the inside of the next straight slow and use both hands and sort it asap. This is no different to when a rider will pull over to remove broken bits of fairings to continue.

At least this rule has deflected attention from other rules for a change. No surprise Mir complained. Penalty ? I guess so, that's one of the good rules. However, the...OMG it's terrible, they need protecting from themselves, horrendous, I had to look away, I feel disturbed, I'm still shaking...crew who also...Moto3 was brilliant and amazing...i don't know, i can't get my head around it. All weekend at the sharp end of the fastest riders on the fastest bikes but those 3 odd laps are an outrage of epic proportions ? I give up, i fully accept i must have something wired wrong in my head. He broke a rule, ok.

I should say, plenty of people were also disturbed and shaken by Moto3 but watched every lap. I guess they find it exciting.

Well what I'm seeing online and on his Instagram kinda does irritate me after the tragedy of last weekend. But right now it's "oh what a legendary rider, Iron Fabio, doesn't need his leather zipped up at 350kph, what a true hero"

We saw the ultimate fragility of a rider last weekend, and it took a teenager's life. Here, at the perilous end of a race in terms of worn tyres, someone with their main piece of rider gear unfastened is seen as something incredible and brilliant. His response on his posts is mind meltingly tone deaf from barely a week ago. Crazy

I've never seen what would happen if someone crashed at these speeds with open leathers, I don't think that's ever happened. I sure as heck don't want to. That should have been an instant dq, sorry mate your gear failed but that's that. One of the more blatant ignoring of safety aspects for their riders I've seen, all for the spectacle. 

...that he should have been black-flagged, for safety reasons.

I agree. The consequences of a crash with a loose suit (with no chest protector & deflated airbag) could be life-changing.

was bang on, immediate black flag, especially after last week's tragedy. He was quite angry on TV and rightly so. Unless anyone can tell us how unzipped leathers operate at current MotoGP speeds then we've just witnessed by far the most irresponsible act, or non-act, of Race Direction, breathtaking in its negligence. Air filling an open suit at 300km/h plus down the straight and ripping the rider off the bike, the open collar hooking around the 'bars provoking a huge high side with the rider still attached, it goes on..

 Racers wanna race no matter what; they might even cover up or refuse to acknowledge failings of a sponsor's product. As Hodgson said, if race direction have any role at all, it's primarily to save racers from themselves. I'm no racer but I knew for sure #20 had to be stopped straight away, a most unedifying and uncomfortable experience for anyone. Shame on race direction and shame on Lin Jarvis and the Yamaha management who clearly knew in real time. There will have been many mentally and emotionally exhausted people in the paddock this week, they-and particularly the friends, family and team of #50 Jason Dupasquier- could have really done without this spectacular display of incompetence. 

Re-gawd-damn-diculous.  This is getting unwatchable due to these garbage rulings coming down from the stewards post-race.  The credibility of the race results are always being called into question, even up to hours after the fact.  Q needed to get the Meatball during the race.  The stewards knew at least three laps from the end - plenty of time to  summon him in.  Is communication from the stewards and race control that slow?  Maybe they were too busy scrutinizing track limits violations to notice there was a competitor racing with their leathers unzipped to their navel?

Speaking as a former racing official here in Canada, I find it inexcusable that he wasn't black-flagged immediately that it was seen the suit was open. Effing insane. I saw somewhere recently poor Mr. Spencer referred to as Blind Freddie, and as much as I sympathize with the guy's responsibilities, this one was a big mistake WAY beyond the pale. And apparently it was five frickin' hours after the race before the penalty was imposed? Even more idiotic.

When I saw it the first time - the forward facing rear camera as he struggled to remove his chest protector - it looked to me that the airbag had gone off.  It was all puffed up, including down around the hips.  Not at all unprecedented, it happened to BB33 just last race when MM clattered into him, although perhaps hasn't happened without some sort of impact.  When BB's airbag went off he said it took a lap or two to deflate and to be able to move and even breathe on the bike again.  Fair enough the leathers will puff up at speed with the zip even partially undone, possibly looking like an airbag deployment, but it looked like airbag to me.  Are they covering for a sponsor's product failing? <sorry for my tin hat>

If FQ's airbag went off, it's entirely possible (but extremely dumb) that he might have then partially unzipped his leathers to get the chest protector out to make some room so he couild breathe.  Wind then opened it all the way.  Has an unintended airbag deployment been categorically denied?

I'm in total agreement that he should have been meatballed immediately  (unless he pulled off line and properly rezipped the leathers).  If he had of fallen the leathers would quite likely have been peeled off him and he'd be a meatball himself.  But I mean, being in race control is also probably not easy, they have to make sure what they do is per the rule book.  It was all going on quite close to the end of the race.  I've been watching this sport for about 35 years and never seen anything like it.

I was at Brands Hatch for a British Superbike Championship meeting sometime in the late 70s. Barry Sheene, who was a dominant force at the time, bogged the start. Dave Potter took off on his TZ750 and had opened up a big gap before the zip on his leathers gave way. Watching from above the Cooper Straight, it was clear to see how Potter's ballooning leathers were hampering his progress, and Sheene overhauled him a couple of laps before the finish.
There was no talk of black flags, but those were different times. IMO Fabio should have been disqualified - tossing chest protectors onto the track during a race is recklessly dangerous and selfish.

Open leathers will rip you off the bike at 200mph, but it didn't happen. He finished 4th, on the bike. Several laps later.

Not saying it is a bad rule, but Fabio seemed to manage it just fine.

If I show up in pit lane for a novice group trackday with my leathers unzipped to my waist I am not allowed out on track even though I have never actually crashed.

Quartararo should have been black flagged immediately.

... was because he's the Championship leader, fighting for the win, and no one had the stones to black flag him. 

There's an obvious double standard between the Big Names and the rest of the pack.  How many times have we seen Race Direction look the other way on Marquez?  Or Rossi?  Or now Quartararo?

Meanwhile, they're 3 feet up Nakagami's trumpet for not doing a long lap penalty IMMEDIATELY (how many times has that ever been enforced?) and he was fighting for what... 17th??

Yet Fabio is racing down the straight at 200+ mph while missing body armor and with his suit unzipped to his crotch?!?

If he had crashed with his suit undone, what kind of harm do you think he would have suffered?  Would 3 seconds seem like a hard enough penalty? 

He didn't get black-flagged because Mike Webb and Blind Freddie Spencer spend too much time trying to mete out subjective rulings, rather than upholding objective rules. 

Orange looks GREAT. As does Oliveira! Tire choices were interesting today. Quartararo looked overly eager at various times throughout the race. Yes, I was scared for him w an open suit, no it wasn't the most interesting thing to talk about, yes he should have been black flagged. Casual viewing of the "shortcut" --> he gained no advantage. But, again, we have track limits and green paint again. Ah well, the price we pay for track safety. I don't envy RD's job. 

Crashes! Lots. "Honda" crashes, and as unhappy a Pol as I can remember. He was so very vocal criticizing his bike recently that it may be at the limit of what Honda accepts from riders. Marc, again. Front end. Ouch. Lots of other folks found traction poor when way off line. And this was having Moto2 rubber after, right? 

Physical racing, lots of very aggressive moves. Miller and Binder especially, as they do. This is NOT the polite era. Very entertaining.

Mir's opening laps were outstanding. The finishing stage though, for sure not to script. Did Suzuki tires not last? Or was he experiencing something else? Looking for word. 

Interesting race, a bit odd in a few respects again. But worth a to rewatch. We are in the thick of things, 2021 looks to be a weird one. 

'Shrink, but I heard the announcers say Moto2 would be held after MotoE, which was held after MotoGP.

And I am a FQ20 supporter, but he should have been black flagged immediately, for his own safety.

I think I've seen just about everything now, and as NH69 (RIP) once said, "That's why we line up on Sunday".

I'm almost certain that's why the 'just an employee' is wearing the minion lid. Eventually even the yenny will drop and HRC won't be amused and they'll send Alberto round to glare at him, mindst he'd do that if he was handing someone a new contract..Oh how I'd love a brave journo to try to get Dani to explain, like, WHY? and didn't he try to put him off, or don't they get on so #26 just thought 'on ya get Pol 🤪'. Though working in the trade I know-and this knowledge isn't exclusive- when you consider the hate between KTM & Honda and how far back it goes, the tit for tat staff poaching continuing unabated, then it's a bit easier to understand. Fascinating all the same though...!

Will Race Direction deign to inform us WHY he wasn't black flagged immediately, as everyone else has suggested? Because Buddykitchen's theory is the only answer I can see. We just had a rider die a week ago. It doesn't get much fresher than that, and if that's not good enough to convince them to black flag, then I have no damn clue what would be.

Quartararo is a RACER, and he did what was necessary to finish the race, as a racer does. As we all know he did so without any difficulties controlling his bike. Indeed he was subject to added risk, but absent a crash that risk ( thankfully ) remained in the hypothetical category.

If you're worried about rider safety, consider Moto3 qualifying which involves multiple bikes involved in a "tow" scenario in every qualifying session. That's a far more common danger than a one-in-a-million zipper failure - yet no one seems to have considered that Moto 3 could be a lot safer if Moto3 qualifying was conducted in a manner which made getting a tow subject to severe penalties ( a start from pit lane or something of that sort ) which would remove the temptation to use a tow. As long as Moto3 qualifying is done in the current manner, serious risk will continue to be a part of qualifying, which should not by its nature involve the same level of risk as the race. If there's a way to leave a significant legacy from the tragedy of Dupasquier's death, I submit that rule changes for qualifying in Moto 3 would be a fine way to honor that fallen rider.

It's my view that Quartararo showed the considerable depth of his desire as a racer today, and that he remains the number one contender for the championship by a margin that's wider than his points lead would indicate.


The rule is that the rider's equipment must be intact at all times. It's a black flag event, there is no gray area for 'bravery'. The whole reason for RD is to protect racers from themselves. RD failed utterly and pathetically yesterday by allowing a favorite son to continue against all good sense and the rules. I imagine you'd feel differently if there had been an incident and we all had had to see what happens to a bare torso hitting the ground at 200 mph.

I've been watching this sport for the better part of a decade. I honestly can't recall the last time I saw the chest portion of a leather suit take any serious damage in a crash. Seat, back, arms, legs? All the time. Chest...? Nope. These guys are racing shoulder-to-shoulder on 300hp, 225mph motorcycles. The guy who died last week didn't die from road rash--he died from being run over. And people like you are choosing to have a freak-out about a partially unzipped suit. Sounds like a bunch of dishonest hand-wringing by people who'd be making an entirely different argument if it were convenient for their championship favorite.

There is nothing dishonest about expecting RD to do their job. A rider cannot ride around with leathers unzipped. It's a rule. Keep watching and learning. And reading. You can learn a lot from those who write here. Just don't go thinking we're dishonest. Last week I argued that my favorite, Mir, be set back for ETL. That would have been fair even though it cost my man points. This is an honorable place and saying that we're "dishonest hand-wringing"-type people shows how little you know.

Line up the blocks in the sandpit so everyone can understand. Would he be allowed to exit pit lane with his leathers unzipped? Start the race like that? Yes or no? If you answered yes....moron....if no....then why should he be allowed to proceed like that during a race? At all? No matter how close to the end? Yes/no????

That's kind of the point. Of course no, because there's a rule saying no.

Extremes are extremes, that fraction of a percent sitting out on the wings yet they are used as certainties.

200mph, death, horrible injuries...and that's with the rider wearing all of his safety equipment properly.

The riders safety equipment reduces the risk of injury during a crash. It doesn't reduce the risk of an incident happening nor does it eliminate the risk of injury.

Those words do not equate to: Leathers, helmets, chest protectors, gloves, boots and airbags are a waste of time or it's good to see riders get injured.

The reaction to this reminds me of the reaction every race regardless of the issue.

Would he been allowed to grid up without a brake lever protector, no, but he would been allowed to continue without it if it would have come off in a crash, so you argument doesn't hold water. 

There is a very clear rule that was not enforced. There is no gray area here, Fabio should've been black flagged and thus received no points. It's not debatable.

Missing brake lever guards, but racers still race with them after a crash, also not debatable. 

We've all seen how drafting can disturb the concentration of riders during qualification, and Dupasquier died because drafting is permitted during qualifying.
Triathalon judges have little compunction about disqualifying those who draft during the bike section of their events. It wouldn't be all that hard to impose this rule in motorbike racing, but I guess the suits consider the spectacale is more important than life. Racing is dangerous enough - it's time to end this practice which only distorts the starting grid.

Some piggies are obviously more equal than others.

Fabio should have been off the track immediately and Nakagami gets hammered for a mere long lap - how long was he given? Stinks like a pig pen. Then some sort of punishment that looks like it's been kinda imposed on the organisers by social media due to the length of time after the race it was enforced? Mighty whiffy out there.

I agree FQ20 should have been black flagged.

One of the many differences between these riders and me is that if it were me, I would have immediately gotten off the racing line and zipped up my race suit. There's no way my desire for self-preservation wouldn't have won out in that situation. I would have been frustrated, but I'd be thinking I'm still in battle for the championship, even being out of the points in today's race.

Of course, I probably also would have given up the position to Jack after running wide on the last lap, and tried to pass him back. Not to avoid the penalty, but because had I stayed on track (which was possible), I would have lost the position and that's just how it works in my mind.

So if it would have been me, I wouldn't have picked up either penalty and likely would have finished in 9th based on the finishing times, which I probably would have been pretty content with, knowing 7 points is better than what I would have expected (0) -- and knowing how strong I am riding.

In both instances, David would say I clearly I don't have the mindset required to become a world champion, and he'd be 100% correct.

Also you would never been given the chance to ride a MotoGP bike in competition..

Are you saying a MotoGP team wouldn't sign me if -- despite being otherwise qualified -- they knew I'd zip up my race suit if it came unzipped during a race, or knew that in a tiny handful of instances I would concede a position (and attempt to take it right back) when it's clear I would have lost that position had I not taken a shortcut? I doubt it.

What is true is that I wouldn't sign with any team that had the expectation I would (a) condone cheating or (b) race without the required safety equipment.

..to see bare skin circulating around ANY track or road, and this at the highest level on the widest stage! Yes, nothing happened, I wear high quality kit on the road and for over 30 year's 'nothing's happened ' will I stop wearing them? Hell no..

I said my bit further up but just to reiterate, a new low for race direction and the probability of this going 'viral' (like 'bestseller' what does it actually mean?!), making our sport look very unprofessional. In fact I can see one of those nauseous over-suntanned tv hosts with radio active white teeth laughing through his "well have you ever seen anything like this folks!!?" routine, you know, the novelty news item, the DVD collection, the bloopers. For all that Dorna has done to make the level of presentation this high, R.D. continue to sabotage them. The ripples from this will continue to come into the shore..


Either you disqualify him (what should have happened), or you do nothing. Long laps are great for jumping the start or shortcutting etc, but not for this. Wasn't his fault that the zip came open, but should have been pulled off track.

They tried doing nothing but people complained. Then they tried doing something but people complained. Obv, they are trying to do nothing but that won't work so they are trying to do just enough to get us to shut up so they don't have to do what they were supposed to have done: disqualify him and take away his points for this race. It's not El Diablo's fault but it's a rule.

We're still waiting for some definitive answer as to why his leathers came open. Bee/Wasp? If it was the airbag inflating or the zip breaking, why did it happen? Then there's the chest protector. Why did he throw it away?

... Luca Cadalora suggest that maybe it wasn't a problem with the zip itself but that most probably Quartararo forgot to secure the zip with the proper button (I can't remember the specific word in English) hence the unzipping during the race. The fact that he could zip it up again at the end of race corroborates this hypothesis as opposed to a faulty zip

We saw camera footage looking back at his chest and face. Somewhere there's a video feed from that camera that will have shown Fabio pulling down the zip. And/or the airbag going off. And/or him frantically trying to get at the bee.

We need to see the footage!

If it was an airbag going of for no good reason, that's a failure that needs investigating. And that investigation might come with a gag order.

Race direction are getting absolutely ridiculous with their insane favoritism and selective blindness. The sport has endured their bone head decisions until now but this was beyond stupid. Why was Fabio not black flagged immediately? And why has every single etl penalty been to move back a place except one time? Where's the consistency RD?

Miguel Olivera must love living in the shade. All the sunlight goes to BB and MO soldiers on outdoing him. Outstanding race from MO88.

According to Suzuki Mir used up the medium/medium tires and had to nurse them after about lap 16. Unusual but so was going from 10th to 3rd in a couple laps. JM36 is on form and formidable in his consistency once again. Needs a teammate. And to qualify on the front 2 rows. Bigly

Honda, Honda, Honda...you have used me sooooo bad in the past yet now you make me so happy! An utter failure of a motorcycle. I love it! You mean, the great Honda isn't perfect and the emodiment of all things smugly wonderful? I would love to see the mighty red H getting concessions! LOLOL It isn't going to happen but it couldn't be happening to a better company right now. I'm loving it.

Ducati looking good everywhere now but too many riders splitting points hurts the championship chances. One race it's Pecco, then Jack, now Zarco and soon Martin is going to get in on the fun too. It's one thing to have a strong stable but they do take points from each other making it hard to separate one contender from the rest.

Time for Danilo to try WSB. I bet he will love it there. Such a great guy but it seems as though he gets satisfied and coasts after he accomplishes a goal. Or maybe he's hit his ceiling. Either way, make way for Remy and another Fabio, boys. KTM has to keep the pipeline moving. Too much talent coming up can be a thing.



for our sport. What we saw in Moto 3 was like watching a horror movie: those kids need some serious boot camp before it gets totally out of hand. if this does not get stopped now I dread to imagine what they'll do in the premier class. And race direction, as usual doing nothing. so, not surprising that they only excell in calculating the inches of green that was touched by a wheel...

Quartararo should have been blackflagged right there and then, not hours later. Once again, this late decision shows the panel's utter incompetence. and why 3 second penalty? why not 10 seconds or 1 ? and based on what? The incident was not event under investigation at the end of the race! and then suddenly they wake up? this is absurd.  As for the long lap, that was fair. 

I'm shocked that no longer than 6 days after the terrible tragedy that took one life, we saw so much recklessnes (especially in moto 3) and no decent response from the stewards panel. Shame on them.



Your comments sum up my feeling on the weekends events perfectly. I would only add that race 'lack of' direction could have resolved the appalling actions of some of the Moto3 riders in the last corner (starting the final lap) to roll the race result back by one lap. I'm fairly sure we would never see a repeat of such behaviour again.

I do think Moto3 needs a rethink. Having 3 or 4 bikes dicing for position is one thing but 10 or 11 fanning out and weaving all over the place going into corners is just begging for further tragedy. I don't think all the skill in the world is enough in that situation, and no one wants half a dozen lumps of heavy metal tumbling through the litter at high speed with half a dozen riders jumbled up in between. There just isn't enough differential between the contestants now, it's too close.

Fabio... crazy stuff. I know he's a racer and all that but he has a brain. Though I see little point over-dramatising or over-punishing, it's a one-off that, in all probability, none of us will ever see repeated. In perspective, it's hardly as if it's otherwise quite safe to go hurtling around at 200mph on a motorbike.

I agree Moto3 was a bit wild. I was thinking about the pit exit while watching Barcelona and Mugello. Why hasn't RD clamped down on riders crossing over into the pit exit while drafting? To me it seems like a clear cut case of exceeding track limits. After all, there's an abundance of paint delineating the track from the pit exit, so why penalize a rider for crossing 2 cm of green on a corner exit but not crossing 3 m of green to go from the track to the pit exit to gain a drafting advantage? Seems like an accident waiting to happen and a clear track limits infringement.

... when the green paint cans were brought out it was to define track limits because riders exceeding curbs 'were racing on a different track'.  While watching the riders use pit lane exit as track I wondered were they racing on a different track.  I think they were.

Just what's needed, more rules and limits and definitions of exceeding track limits. You ever considered that there's no advantage in time gained ? That normally it would allow them more room, you know...safer ? Do people watch it for the action or the post race dissections of rule books ? It's rapidly going the way when most action is off track...i don't mean off track limits. You can't even give another rider the finger anymore, riders saying not so much because it might get them in trouble if they express their opinion...it's losing a battle right now.

... why do they do it?  Using the pit lane to leave a slipstream should give a time advantage if the rider got it right. It's certainly not a disadvantage because, if it were, they would avoid that like the plague.  Maybe the riders could be blamed for new rules seeing as it's them that are testing the existing ones?  I don't like loads of rules but I do like a fair playing field.


No, i blame all the people who week after week find fault and outrage in it, week after week after week after week. They pull out and use it because it's there and I'm guessing they are allowed to use it either explicitly or via informal agreement. It caused no problems but the track limits ghost raises it's head nevertheless. Lets invent problems where none exist. I thought the Moto3 race was great, a bit mad, but I've seen worse.

... to use the pit lane then that's fair enough.  That has to be made clear because, after all the stuff we listen to about exceeding track limits by millimetres and penalties despite no gain it would be good to know if the pit lane is within limits or not.  That would clear this unertainty up.  Like you, I loved the Moto3 race... it's becoming my favourite category.



That's the point....why does everybody have a need to have everything explained to them clearly ? They're all using it and nobody gets a penalty...sort of obviously allowed. Boxing things in, rules followed by more rules...one day there will be no fun left in it.

The whole reason I brought up the pit exit is what if someone happens to be exiting pit lane at the same moment the lead pack drafts by, weaving into pit lane, and a massive crash at near top speed results in a rider critically hurt, permanently injured, or worse? Sure, it's unlikely, but it's the reason rules like the track limits rules are enforced in the first place. They're hard to justify because you never know if they work if they're working right. If the rule isn't enforced and an accident happens, everyone asks why the rule wasn't enforced. If it is enforced then we'll never know if it prevented an accident because the accident never happened in the first place.

The whole weaving-back-and-forth and pushing each other onto the grass is related, but a whole different discussion.

... when we hit a grey area... like 'can a rider use the pit lane exit as part of the race track?'  If I were playing poker I would want everyone to know exactly what was allowed in the rules so that I wasn't taken advantage of.  I think it's reasonable that if someone asks if something in a sport is legal that they get a reasonable answer.  The simple resolution of the pit lane issues is either yes it's OK or no, it's not.  It can't be both. That's all that is being asked.   Now, maybe saying "There's a million Euro for the first man over the line and no rules" would be very entertaining but maybe also carnage.


Sure, what you and Dirt give are totally reasonable explanations. That is appreciated but what is happening seems a little more complicated....i don't mean anyone specifically.

It is totally reasonable to want to know the rules of the sport you are watching. You could say it is necessary to know something of the rules in order to appreciate the sport at all. So, when after a race people ask about a particular incident and either express an ignorance of the rules or highlight what they see as inconsistent application of the rules we can say that it's reasonable and normal. However, the pattern which has developed is not quite like that. I think it's feed me or I'll bite you. Race direction has become a game to be played by everybody.

The rules are there, available to download and read at your leisure. Yes, there is sometimes ambiguity which is required because real events can vary in detail too much to be explicitly covered by any set rules. To explicitly cover all possibilities the 'rule book' would be something akin to an entire city library or if not, an infinite text. So, there is ambiguity and yes this ambiguity is the realm of judgments made by appointed officials and this is where the game begins.

Have you ever witnessed (or instigated) one of those conversations where a person is invited to express certainty on a matter ? Contradictions are highlighted and the person is led to clarify their position, not because they are wrong, of course not, it's because the instigator lacks understanding and knowledge. If steered correctly the person invariably finds themselves an apparent idiot cornered by their own statements. In one form or another that's what i see every week these days. Wait a moment....isn't that a useful tool ? Yes, it can be, depends on the context and subject matter. Just because it can be useful does not then mean it is correct to test everything on this earth in this manner. Can be useful is not a justification for using it when it is not appropriate. Usually it has more to do with linguistic pugilism than facts...it's steered to an end with purpose by the instigator. It's at game.

This game (trap) can be avoided. Don't enter into the conversation, don't play the game. Hold on, wait a minute, I'm stood here in my white shorts, white socks, white T-Shirt, racket in hand, balls in pocket and you don't want to play tennis ? Well i want to play so I'll practice my serve (in your direction) until something comes back. This is the the folks who week after week prod on non issues, searching for 'clarity'. It goes from the informed who prod around the grey areas to the uninformed who generally seem to like applying F1 rules to MotoGP. He crossed the white line on pit entry...no no no I'm just seeking clarity. I get the feeling a large number of informed or uninformed are just looking for angles in a dog fight to launch a historical atomic contradiction missile. But, as is always the case, it's justified with a reasonable argument riding atop a context shifting rear suspension link.

Take a look at the leather scandal. First volley is safety and why no penalty ? It's immoral. Then we get a penalty but was it enough ? Where can we find if it was enough, feed me the justification and god help you if i find otherwise ? Then there's a Fabio joke about it and now it's....was he reckless ? Is he lying ? Are 'they' lying ? They can show us the video....they must show us the video so we can know and judge ! What shall we do if he is reckless rider ? After all he made a joke about our 'genuine' concerns. Is this linked somehow to Miller in Qatar ? What about Fenati ? Do i see inconsistency ?....and the hunt continues until hopefully...god be willing...somebody somewhere can take the full nine yards of criticism without hope of deflection. The satisfaction of the kill. Meanwhile there was a bike race.

I had the rules of cricket explained to me many moons ago when i was a wee nipper in school. There was this, that, etc, of course....but the fundamentals were summed up in two statements. If the umpire says you are out but you know you are not out...you walk. If the umpire says you are not out but you know you are out...you walk. The first part being the relevant one here. Accept the judgment and move on. We should too. (Obviously these rules have nothing to do with the sport as seen on TV, that's not 'cricket')

Sorry for rambling on, it's not directed at you it's a general observation.

... fair and interesting.  

I stopped watching F1 because of the rules and technicalities and races being, seemingly, won in the pits.  I hope MotoGP doesn't go the same way.

Always liked anything with motors but turned that off a long time ago.

You know, you see a lily, it's beautiful, you love it....but it grows best in s***. You clean that smelly stuff away, tidy everything up, make everything around the lily perfect. The lily dies.

I keep getting reminded of a study done post WW2 on fighter pilots. Subject to my memory, this is vague. A certain airforce wanted to know what sort of people had the 'right stuff' so that they could improve selection in their recruitment efforts. A smart bunch of psyche types were employed to conduct the study. They returned a report which outlined people...intelligent, good hand to eye etc but also...don't worry too much about tomorrow, reckless, comfortable taking risks the average person would think crazy, when uncertainty exists prone to gamble on what will happen next rather than waiting for more information etc. I'd have to root it out to get it exactly right but it was along those lines. It was rejected, they did not want wild men playing with their ever increasingly expensive toys. However, the rejection did not change the make up of the best since, it just gets airbrushed over.

We all fell in love watching very talented riders doing something inherently reckless and pointless. The more popular it gets the greater the effort to turn it into something it is not.

"I stopped watching F1 because of the rules and technicalities and races being, seemingly, won in the pits.  I hope MotoGP doesn't go the same way."

You see the Moto GP bikes using bits of the pit lane at Mugello. No complaints about that happening that I remember. I agree it looked a bit crazy in the Barcelona Moto 3 race, but I thought Alcoba's slowing in the last corners in order to gain a draft was more dangerous. And still, understandable, given his size and the importance of the draft in the class. Don't think we need more rules, just MUCH improved enforcement of what's already out there.

I agree. I don't think a new rule is needed, just enforce the pit exit as off track within the framework of the existing track limits rules.

Last week with the loss of JD50, mr Fabulous Jeramy Alcobo was involved. Many times I have watched him ignore flags, ride dangerously and crash into other riders without much retribution... well a double long lap penalty... but he rides like a beginner on a gran turismo game! Nothing has been said about whether he attempted to slow after the 50/71 crash. His words were that he was blinded by the rider in front and swerved to miss that rider. Does that sound like care being taken under yellow flags. There was plenty of time for him to see the flag.

this weeks moto3 race was a serious multiple rider accident waiting to happen and Mr fabulous was involved again with one of the stupidest acts of no race craft ever... slowing in the middle of a group. In cycling I imagine you would be sanctioned for doing that in a large group but in Moto3... nothing. Insane

anyone thinking that Fabio was just one tough guy who just dealt with it needs to,look,at the bike crash idiots on YouTube who,are wearing jeans and jackets and crash doing a wheelie or something stupid. Fabio would of been skinned alive if he had of crashed. No more cool tattoos or walking around the pits looking handsome. 

'Race direction needs to be replaced and some proper balls added to the rules. Never forget... Freddie Spencer is broke as a junkie... they don't have to pay much to use his name. Sorry Freddie... you are still a legend... just not a good judge.


I remember Gordon Murray saying ... i slept with the rulebook under my pillow to find loopholes ...

maybe it's a bit out of context, but i guess the only way to find a thorough solution is to define infringements and its consequences as clear as possible, otherwise most of the teammanager will look under their pillows ...

I think some kind of risk assessment is necessary ... who expected that a zipper will reopen whilst racing?

My personal impression is - AlpineStars let its airbagsystem go off even on a warm summerbreeze...

Is a rider allowed to stay in the race if the airbag is activated unintentionally?

Is a helmet still safe after a crash?

I'm not a big fan of imposing rules on every single detail, but in terms of security the rulebook should be clear and thorough...


We don't need more rules. We don't need to tweak the ones we have. The rule is there. They have to have all safety equipment on, intact and fastened securely. The rule is plain as day, it just needs to be enforced. It wasn't. That is the entire problem. Fabio did exactly as he should have done - race until told to stop. Race Direction must've been the guys who were guarding Epstein.

^ Holy shite, Brian for the single perfect comment win! Nice job ditching the knuckle dragging troll up there too mate. 

Just adding that the airbag did not go off, just looked like it from wind. Nothing wrong w the leathers. No video from the front to show what Quarty did or didn't do w the zipper just yet. Riders often ride w the top Velcro closure undone. Going to rewatch to see if just before the crippling nippling rippling through our comments section the top was fastened or not. Obviously though Fabio did not have grounded composure Sunday, overriding and wiggling about. You can almost hear him, behavior is a language - "I should be in FRONT. MUST BE IN FRONT! MY RACE!" Back to the psychologist, just a few review sessions ought to do it. 

Question at 2:33, watch for his eyes going up and a bit over at 2:44...while about to say "(zipper) was down, I try to zip up" etc. The eye thing is what someone does when making up something, often times also a moment looking down and the other side to check it against memory of what else has been said or mitigating discomfort (why we have the phrase "shifty eyed liar"). Not condemning him, love Fabio, just pointing out that he dodges the question of how/why the zipper came undone AND appears to be fabricating there. 


Rules are fine, RD flinched and froze up. Green paint AND tow mongering is going to get some change this season. I am out on this Quarty's nipples thing, we should all be doing better stuff w our time (hooray KTM and Oliveira!).

You can see Fabio's zipper was done up with the flap in place securing it when they were lining up on the grid. Has anyone asked him how it came undone? I agree, someone needs to tell race direction to get their act together or else.

As many opinions as you would expect. FQ´s opinion was that he was ok to complete the laps to the end and salvage points. Had he felt out of control he would no doubt have pulled in. He probably laid in extra safety margin that the outside observer can´t see. Riders crash and get going again with whatever of damage to their bikes or themselves that the outside observer can´t see, it is up to them to make that decision. 

The easiesy way to see what happened would be to see Fabio's onboard camera, Dorna also has access to cameras that we, the public, don't see.

The outcome should have been the same, a black flag, but atleast we should be able to see how, why and when.

Releasing the footage would solve the mystery. But look at the comment section of this article. A controversial subject attracts a lot of attention. It may be in Dorna's best interest to allow the mystery to continue.

Betcha an Iannone autographed chest wax applicator that Fabio unzipped the top a bit then it came further undone than planned and was unable to be rezipped. He knows and isn't telling. Guessing he did not properly put in his chest protector, and with his erratic wiggly composure Sunday it moved out of position and was bothering him alot. It has Velcro and snaps, and he doesn't wear clothing beneath. If we get anything from Astars it will be short and that "it was not the gear."


The blame for this whole incident lies not on Alpinestars but squarely on Quartararo. Look at the video of the race on the grid just before the lights go out. What you can easily see is the zipper of Quartararo's leathers clearly at least 2 inches below the velcro tab.

Q20 simply didn't zip his leathers up all the way and riding a bike at 200+ mph like that is not a good idea.