MotoGP of Italy: Vinales, Miller at the track limit: Joe Roberts didn’t do anything wrong | MotoGP

The controversy over the MotoGP track limits returned on Sunday at Mugello, where penalties were awarded after all three races.

In Moto3, Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia were docked by one position (eighth and ninth respectively) due to violations on the last lap.

But the most expensive penalty came in Moto2, where Joe Roberts was stripped of the first podium of the season for making slight contact with the green color outside the white line at the exit of Turn 5 on the final lap.

Joan Mir and Miguel Oliveira then committed the same offense on the final lap of the MotoGP race in the same corner, but by penalizing both one place they ended up staying second and third.

If drivers exceed the track limits during most of a race, warnings are given on the dashboard, followed by a long lap penalty for repeat offenders.

However, since it is too late to impose a long lap penalty on the final lap, the offending driver will instead be docked one position after the race if he believes he has run too far and is therefore fighting a close fight Has given advantage.

The drivers’ biggest complaint on Sunday was that the green color in question at the exit of Turn 5 – which was penalized by Roberts, Oliveira and Mir – should not have been viewed as a lane delimitation area.

Because the drivers had already driven around the bend at this point and simply accelerated in a straight line with the bike standing upright from the curb back onto the asphalt.

But instead of gently bringing the permitted curb area back down a tapered white line, there was a sharp cut-off that created a green corner that the attacking drivers drove over.

I know rules are rules. But that sucks for Joe Roberts.

3rd place gone, just like that. # Moto2 #ItalianGP

– CRASH.NET/MotoGP (@crash_motogp) May 30, 2021

“It’s true that the rules are the rules, but sometimes we have to be a bit more flexible because for me Joe Roberts didn’t do anything wrong,” said Maverick Vinales, who was previously penalized for a minor violation of the track limit in qualifying at Portimao Year . “Miguel too [and Mir].

“For example, if Roberts had touched the green paint it was grass nothing would happen because he is really straight at this point.

“If you leave the track while you are still exiting the curve, for example in Turn 9 [Arrabbiata 2], a warning is normal. But [not] there in round 5.

“It’s tough because it happened to me at Portimão and it ruined my result and we didn’t really know it. Nobody said, ‘You touched the green’.

“We should work and sometimes be more flexible. Today Joe Roberts should be on the podium because he didn’t do anything wrong.”

Ducati’s Jack Miller agreed that the way the curb suddenly ended at Turn 5 was causing the lane boundary issue.

“I think the curb should have been straight or sloping, not sharp, a more natural line,” he said. “In the end, I thought it was nonsense that Joe Roberts lost that position.

“He deserved it 100%. He fought for this victory. He didn’t win anything. Even if it was grass or wet artificial turf [rather than green paint] nothing would have happened if you had driven over it like this.

“We discussed [track limits] in the security commission here on Friday. I am sure that it will be the same with the next one. The problem is, when you make rules, there are gray areas. But we’re trying to make it safer and we clearly have to work harder and do it better. “

World Champion I realized that there had to be limits to prevent drivers from using the “emergency” run-off zones on the outside of the curbs for more speed.

“I didn’t even realize that Miguel was touching the green and that I was touching the green. I have to look at the pictures. But track restrictions are something that, if we don’t set a limit, can be very dangerous,” he said.

“Because you can go every time [further] out of the way, and after the green is grass. And if no one says anything about the green, we’ll touch the grass and make the track wider. “

The main suggestion from the Suzuki driver was that the FIM stewards be more discreet in their final lap decisions, rather than relying entirely on the sensors outside the curb to measure even the tiniest touch of a tire.

“It’s not easy because they’ll say, ‘No, it’s better if the machine decides,’ but in the final laps, when you know about racing, you can understand whether a driver has gained time or not,” said he.

“So maybe a little more on the human side, that’s what I mean. Discuss a bit. Because we give 100% for the race all weekend and only for 1mm, 2mm we can lose the podium, so it is not so. ” Fair.

“I agree with the yellow flags, I agree with all of this because it means safety, but I am a driver and I know that sometimes there are things that are not really fair. So yeah, a little human side would be” better . “

For his part, Roberts – who only found out he had lost the podium when he was about to drive into the Parc Ferme – was philosophical about the penalty.

“We did an excellent job and the podium was ours. Unfortunately, I touched the green and the race management punished me with a loss of position. That’s how it went, but let’s take the positive: We had a great race after a difficult weekend, “said the American.