Maverick Viñales got some vindication today from the FIM MotoGP Stewards, as the rules committee handed Marc Marquez a three-position grid penalty for Sunday’s Americas GP.
The ruling comes after Marquez slowed on the racing line, and effectively blocked a charging Viñales, who was on his way to a then pole-setting lap time.
As such, the move means that Viñales will takeover the pole-position starting spot from Marquez, with Iannone and Zarco completing the front row, in that order.
Doing the math, Marquez will then obviously start from the fourth position, four meters directly behind the man he obstructed.
The FIM MotoGP Stewards also handed Pol Espargaro a penalty, which will see the KTM rider also starting three grid positions behind his qualifying spot.
Espargaro’s penalty comes from an incident in Turn 2, where he was found to have been dallying on the racing line, similar to Marquez.
The penalties do not occur in a vacuum, with reports that last evening’s MotoGP Safety Commission resulting in a commitment by the FIM MotoGP Stewards to be more liberal with their penalties, as well as more stringent in their adherence to GP rulebook.
Joking during the MotoGP qualifying press conference Marquez alluded to this fact, saying that had “checked” the series of the stewards’ new commitment during today’s qualifying sessions.
Source: MotoGP; Photos: © 2018 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved