Fabio Quartararo has been demoted from fourth to sixth in today’s final standings at the Catalan Grand Prix, after stewards decided that he was in breach of the rules regarding safety equipment.
The news was first broken by The Race’s sources in the MotoGP paddock, and soon confirmed by the stewards themselves.
The stewards said Quartararo was “observed to be riding with [his] leather suit not correctly fastened and without the required chest protector”, which is “an infringement of Article 18.104.22.168” of the FIM world championship regulations.
The article in question stipulates that safety equipment “must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity”.
Quartararo has been handed an additional three-second post-race penalty, allowing reigning world champion Joan Mir and Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales to overtake him. Suzuki’s
As a consequence, Quartararo’s lead in the championship has now been decreased from the 17 points he held over Johann Zarco at the finish to 14 points now.
Bizarre scenes with @FabioQ20! 👀
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 6, 2021
Quartararo rode the final laps of the race with the front of his leathers unzipped, and took the chequered flag in third place, only to be demoted to fourth immediately with an initial three-second penalty for a shortcut.
The Frenchman was adamant post-race that he didn’t deserve to be penalised then or additionally, but there was unanimous agreement from all three podium finishers ahead of him that race control should’ve black-flagged him.
Rumours of a protest from rival teams surfaced almost immediately, and a stewards’ decision followed.
Quartararo can count himself somewhat lucky that the new penalty cost him only two positions and three championship points, given that instead of being classified 4.8s off winner Miguel Oliveira he ends up 7.8s off – with the duelling Francesco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira finishing 8.2s and 8.4s respectively behind Oliveira.