Why was Quartararo given a three-second penalty at Misano?

The 21-year-old took the chequered flag in P3, but was demoted to P4 after failing to take the long-lap penalty on the last lap

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crossed the line in third at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, but a three-second penalty for exceeding track limits and ignoring his long-lap penalty ultimately saw the former Championship leader drop a position to P4.

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini

But why was Quartararo handed the time penalty? MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ riders receive a track limits warning when they go onto the virtual gravel traps – the green areas – three times. A warning – should – come up on their dashboards. Then, if the riders exceed track limits a further two times, taking their tally up to five, a long-lap penalty his handed to them. That’s what happened to Quartararo at the Emilia Romagna GP, but according to the Frenchman, he didn’t receive the warnings that everyone else was seeing on TV.


If you then ignore the long-lap penalty, a three-second penalty – judged to be what you should roughly lose taking the long-lap, unless your name is Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) – is then awarded by Race Direction if the offence occurs towards the end of the race, exactly the case of Quartararo.

“First of all I’m really happy about my race, because I think that it’s important after all the weekends that we struggled in, to finally finish in third position,” reflected the 21-year-old, who needed a good result to get his title charge back on track.

“Ok, at the end we got that penalty for track limits but my thoughts from this penalty is that I should receive a message, like they put on TV, that I have a track limits warning. But actually, I received no message. So I was a bit surprised to suddenly have track limits. It’s true that I had three track limits but the last two I didn’t know, so for me it was necessary for me to receive a message from race direction.

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini

“So yeah, disappointed and frustrated to have this penalty and looking forward to Barcelona. But I’m so happy for my race, because at the end we got a good pace and it was difficult for us to overtake Pol and Mir caught us, but it’s good to finally end the race in a good way.”

Quartararo cut a livid figure at the end of the race when he learned his fate. But the two-time 2020 race winner now gets set for a circuit that he has a good relationship with – the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Scene of his first Grand Prix victory in 2018, scene of his first MotoGP™ podium in 2019. What does 2020 have up its sleeve?

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