Martin penalised for Austria MotoGP sprint Turn 1 pile-up but keeps podium

Martin penalised for Austria MotoGP sprint Turn 1 pile-up but keeps podium

A multi-rider collision on the opening lap of Saturday’s 14-lap sprint contest was triggered when Martin, trying to recover from 12th on the grid, made contact with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo as he attempted to overtake on the inside of Turn 1.

This forced Quartararo into Maverick Vinales, which then led to Marco Bezzecchi, Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira crashing out.

Quartararo, Vinales and Ducati’s Enea Bastianini all ran off track in the chaos and dropped down the order, while Martin emerged from Turn 1 in sixth.

This incident was investigated after the race, while Martin went on to finish third despite facing a further stewards enquiry after a collision with Luca Marini on lap seven while overtaking him for third.

Martin escaped punishment for that incident but has been handed a long lap penalty to be served in the next grand prix in which he competes, which is due to be Sunday’s Austrian GP, and means he keeps his sprint podium.

A statement from the FIM stewards panel read: “On 19 August 2023 and 15:02:32 during the MotoGP sprint of the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich at Turn 1 you were found to be riding in an irresponsible manner causing a crash.

“This contravenes the specific instructions given to MotoGP competitors and teams, disrupting the session, and is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors.

“It is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM World Championship grand prix regulations.

“For the above reasons, the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has imposed a long lap penalty. The long lap shall be served by the rider at the next grand prix race in which the rider participates.”

Martin felt he was not to blame for either of the incidents he was involved in, while VR46 duo Bezzecchi and Marini were unhappy at how the stewards handled them.

The Pramac rider currently sits second in the standings after the Austria sprint, 46 points behind race winner and championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.

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