The penalty for the MotoGP yellow flag should be tougher – Aleix Espargaro

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia set a record-breaking lap time and clinched pole on Saturday in the second quarter of the Algarve.

However, his pole time was stripped from him after it was believed he had discontinued it when he drove through a yellow flag zone on the corner of Craig Jones where KTM’s Miguel Oliveira had crashed.

As a result, Bagnaia fell from pole position to 11th place, claiming it was “impossible” to see the yellow flag on his right as he leaned to the left at the time.

MotoGP tightened its yellow flag rule last season. Every lap that was driven by a driver who passed a warning automatically deleted this time.

Espargaro sympathized with Bagnaia but believes the rule needs to be enforced as “you can kill a marshal” if you crash while pushing through a yellow flag zone.

“You can’t go into Pecco’s brain or eyes so I’m going to trust him to say he can’t see,” Espargaro said. “But we have safety rules. [On Friday] I crashed at Turn 11 I think and a lot of drivers closed the throttle.

“Pecco was far in this corner and went far when I was in the gravel trying to pick up the bike with marshals.

“So the rule is the rule and I think Dorna has to be even stricter.

“If there are yellow flags, it’s because someone is down. If they crash, you can kill a marshal.

“I feel sorry for you because I know he drove an incredible lap and achieved pole position. But it’s very dangerous. “

Yellow flag

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

When asked if tougher penalties should be imposed on those who repeatedly push through yellow flag zones, he added, “100% safe because you tell me what else Dorna can do?

“They have more yellow flags than ever before, they have LED panels.

“[So do we] Do you start radios or put the yellow flag on the dashboard? It is difficult to do more than that.

“So, yeah, for me, I think they have to be stronger.”

Bagnaia’s Ducati teammate Jack Miller has broken the yellow flag rule several times since its inception and has repeatedly criticized its enforcement.

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After Saturday’s drama, Miller questioned the rule again, saying, “I’ve been on the receiving end of this sentence a few times.

“It’s like there’s no point arguing with them [Race Direction] because there is no real logic, especially when it is.

“It doesn’t make sense because these tires don’t work at all, you have a very narrow window of when they work, let’s say, and if you’ve already pushed that lap – like Pecco, he’s been way around this lap You no longer have the same chance on this tire.

“At Aragon last year, it cost me a second quarter. I do not agree with that. “