until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Marquez gets Assen penalty - and wants it to prompt a rule change

by Megan White, Simon Patterson
5 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marc Marquez has been handed a tyre pressure penalty after MotoGP’s Dutch TT, demoting him from fourth to 10th.

Stewards said the Gresini Ducati rider was running “tyre pressures lower than the parameters advised by the official supplier” Michelin and handed him a 16-second penalty. 

But Marquez said he was just 0.01 bars under the limit for one lap of the race - the one immediately following his contact with Ducati rider Enea Bastianini at Turn 1 - and blamed that incident for the penalty. He thinks that means a rule tweak is needed for the future.

The penalty promoted Pramac rider Franco Morbidelli to ninth, with Marquez slotting into the results ahead of KTM’s Jack Miller in 11th.

Marquez said though it was “a shame” to have received a penalty, “the rules are the rules”.

Marquez's theory

Marquez had caused surprise early in the race when he appeared to deliberately let VR46 Ducati rider Fabio Di Giannantonio overtake him for third.

He confirmed afterwards that this had been an attempt to lower his tyre pressure.

“The only thing we were discussing with the stewards, for that reason it delayed the penalty, because as you saw in the race I started in a good way but suddenly I saw on the front there was something strange and the tyre pressure was super low,” Marquez explained.

“Then I let past Diggia just to control the front pressure, and then I was there behind him all the race.”

But he said the incident with Bastianini then spoiled that plan.

“I was controlling in a good way, I was inside, but what I didn’t expect was the contact from Enea at the first corner when he pushed me out,” he continued.

“And when I was out that lap I was one second slower and I didn’t push well in that Turn 3 and Turn 5 because I didn’t know how the tyre would be after coming from the run-off area. It dropped again, it takes two laps to come back and those two laps makes me out of that minimum [pressure].”

Marquez said the mixed conditions on Sunday, switching between cloudy and sunshine, made “everything difficult,” but he was controlling his tyre pressure well before the contact from Bastianini - something “I cannot control” which “makes me go wide and come back and the pressure was too low again”

He also felt that Bastianini should have been forced to drop a position due to the contact, because Marquez was forced off track.

“I expected – honestly speaking – a drop one position [penalty] for Enea, because if you overtook a rider with contact and this rider went out of the track, I expected him to drop one position; not a big penalty, but drop one position and come back,” said Marquez.

“But he didn’t receive a penalty and I received the penalty for the tyre temperature. But rules on the hand, I agree.

“The only fact that takes time for the stewards - and we were speaking and I was in the race direction, because they have the data - they see that my tyre temperature dropped after the contact of Enea.”

Asked whether he believed the stewards should take contact into consideration when deciding on a penalty, Marquez replied: “It can be, and it’s what they say to me is that it can be a consideration for the future. But right now, the rules are the rules. And maybe it can change for the future. 

“I think yes, especially if somebody hits you and you are out of the track. With these bikes, if you are 1.5s or 2s slower in a lap the pressure already drops 0.05.

“I needed to ask because I was out for a collision with another rider. And they said ‘no, the rules’. And I said ‘I agree with you’. The rules right now are like this.”

An odd race

Maverick Vinales was right behind Marquez and Di Giannantonio when the Gresini rider slowed to switch positions, which Vinales immediately guessed the reason for.

Asked about the incident after the race, Vinales said: “I understood really quick, it was the front tyre pressure. They wanted to go behind for trying to increase it.

“I see they were all of the time trying to follow. None of them wanted to go in the front. I was OK so I wanted to go in the front.”

Di Giannantonio said he 'guessed' what Marquez might have been trying to achieve and admitted it felt strange to be waved past in that circumstance mid-race.

Another bizarre moment came on lap 19, where both Di Giannantonio and Marquez appeared to slow at Turn 9, with Vinales moving into third as Marquez took fourth.

Past penalties

The tyre pressure limit on the front was lowered this season after infringements became very frequent towards the end of the 2023 campaign, following the rule's mid-season introduction. 

However, the penalties were also increased considerably compared to 2023 - although MotoGP did at least steer clear of the original plan to make the infringement equate to a disqualification.

The most high profile incident this year involved Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, who lost a sprint podium after receiving a penalty at Jerez.

But he is not the only one to have been penalised, with Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Aprilia), Di Giannantonio, Jack Miller (KTM) and Alex Rins (Yamaha) all having fallen foul of this regulation.

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