Grand Prix without Marquez and with ridiculous rules
After his disaster at the Sachsenring and the day before, Marc Marquez, the statistically most successful driver in the field, decided not to start a GP in the Netherlands. However, the FIM commissioners shot the bird off on Sunday morning. In all seriousness, they announced a change to the Long Lap Penalty Rules for the Assen Grand Prix after strong criticism for their questionable decisions on Saturday. Now there should only be a warning after the third contact with the green marked area in some corners and a penalty in the fifth case. Absolute madness and, of course, absolutely ridiculous for people who already didn’t have a handle on the simple rules. We have numerous examples from WorldSBK and MotoGP where the FIM folks either failed to see or ignored this clear “offense” on several occasions. In addition, one immediately remembered the day before, when Fabio Quartararo, a man, finished third in the Tissot sprint race, for whom a 3-second penalty had just been displayed during the time recording. However, in the end only KTM ace Brad Binder got a chance and dropped two places as he was relegated from P3 to 5th. But now to the Dutch Grand Prix of 2023.
Dramatic and crashing first laps
Starting with KTM newcomer Jack Miller, the two Frenchmen Zarco and Quartararo soon found themselves in the gravel bed. After three third places in a row, it was a major setback for the Prima Pramac Ducati pilot from Cannes and of course also for the Monster Energy Yamaha pilot, who was already injured after a running accident. This had flown directly in front of Zarco, who was then no longer able to avoid it. Aprilia hope Maverick Viñales was next and Enea Bastianini (Lenovo Ducati) also missed the checkered flag with a crash on Turn 5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Lenovo Ducati) and his Ducati brand colleague Marco Bezzecchi fought in front (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) as the winner of Saturday’s sprint race for the lead. Followed by Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) and in front of Honda hope Takaaki Nakagami the charging Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati). Like his team-mate Zarco and Quartararo, the latter didn’t get off to a good start, but with 15 laps to go he had already fought his way up to P5 behind Aleix.
You only had to stay seated in MotoGP to score points
We will go into the completely insane development in MotoGP in the 2023 season in one of the next articles. In any case, simply not falling was enough to score points. The reason for this was that 4 regular pilots were not at the start and 8 gave up or dropped out in a crash. As a result, Aprilia test and reserve driver Lorenzo Savadori, who started with a wild card, even managed to finish 11th. The Germans Stefan Bradl (substitute for LRC Honda man Alex Rins, who is still injured with a double broken leg) and Jonas Folger saw the checkered flag with over 40 seconds Behind the winner as the last. As we announced on the opening weekend, Folger again had to step in for GasGas-KTM pilot Pol Espargaró. According to his Tech 3 team boss at the Portugal GP, he should have been on the bike a long time ago. But given the severity of his injuries, it was immediately clear to any reasonable observer that the Catalan would be out for a long time and that Poncharal, as team manager, was deliberately lying to the public at the time.
The result of an uninspiring Dutch Grand Prix
The World Championship standings before the summer break
Moto3 victory for Jaume Masia and chaos in Moto2
While Jaume Masia (Leopard Honda) won a turbulent junior class race ahead of Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husky-KTM) and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo), World Championship leader Daniel Holgado fell. Öncü’s teammate then got back up and drove on, but finished 25th and was the last of the classified drivers. As in the MotoGP sprint race the day before, the FIM regulation caused absolute chaos with its questionable long lap penalties introduced in 2019 in the middle category. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) won his first Moto2 Grand Prix ahead of Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia). However, it seemed very unclear to some viewers whether Pedro Acosta (Red Bull Ajo Kalex), who finished P3, was really third.
Lucky for Pedro Acosta with FIM wrong decision
Shortly before that, the second in the intermediate classification had to complete a long lap penalty. The reason for this was an involuntarily taken shortcut in the target chicane missed by the Spaniard, after which he should have dropped further back according to the FIM stewards. Acosta completed the long lap, but drove inside the green and actually forbidden area. Completely inconsistent, however, the FIM stewards did not decide to repeat the event. Exactly this is to be criticized most violently, when regulations are freely interpreted according to the whim of these all-powerful officials. Maybe they just had a guilty conscience that Red Bull KTM rider Brad Binder felt cheated out of third place the day before when the South African received a three second penalty from them. One hardly dares to mention it any more, but it was about the area colored in green (what a color choice for a forbidden zone) which he touched by a few millimeters in the finish chicane.
The involuntarily long summer break until Silverstone
We owe it to Dorna, who may just be driven by greed for money, that the summer break now lasts until August. A new Grand Prix of Kazakhstan was originally planned for July 9th of the year. In addition to the Indian GP on September 24th, this is the second new entry, but as was often the case in the past, this was an air bubble and skeptics are currently doubting whether there will be a race in India at all. At the latest since mishaps such as the Balatonring in Hungary, which never became reality, and Dorna’s hide-and-seek game for the 2022 Finnish Grand Prix, the people around Carmelo Ezpeleta and her boss have lost all credibility. When it was already clear in the paddock that the KymiRing would not be ready in time for the July GP, Dorna maintained that everything was going as planned. Only a few weeks later, however, they publicly announced the cancellation, thus subsequently accusing themselves of lying with their previous statement. After the Kazakhstan breakdown for 2023, there are now neither 21 events, which would have been a new record number, but also a very long summer break of 5 weeks.
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