until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Bagnaia now on MotoGP decider pole thanks to rival's penalty

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP championship leader Pecco Bagnaia will start the season-ending Valencian Grand Prix on pole after a penalty to Maverick Vinales.

The Aprilia rider had scored his first pole with the RS-GP bike in qualifying on Sunday morning - but will now drop to the second row of the grid for the grand prix.

This is because of an infringement that came during the 10-minute Sunday morning warm-up.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia, MotoGP

Vinales had an issue with his Aprilia and was issued a black-and-orange flag. Under FIM rules, this flag requires the rider to "immediately leave the track" rather than just bring it into the pits - as is the case under FIA convention.

"This flag informs the rider that their motorcycle has mechanical problems likely to endanger themselves or others," the MotoGP regulations say.

They also stipulate that, after pulling over, "the rider cannot rejoin the track unless authorised to do so by an official".

Vinales, however, brought his hobbled RS-GP back into the pits in the closing minutes of the short warm-up - and drew the ire of the stewards in doing so.

He was adjudged to have "not respected" the flag "by not immediately leaving the track" - something that "is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors".

Bagnaia will now head the front row for the season finale, with Johann Zarco moving up to second and Jack Miller lining up third.

Vinales will be at the head of row two, instead, followed by Brad Binder and Jorge Martin - who needs to overturn a 14-point deficit to Bagnaia today to defeat him in the title race.

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