Ducati MotoGP team boss Paolo Ciabatti has hinted to The Race that there is substance to rumours of multiple protests lodged against Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in today’s Catalan Grand Prix, after the Frenchman finished fourth and escaped penalty despite completing the final laps of Sunday’s race with his leathers open.
“A few teams are aware of a possible infringement of the regulations,” the veteran Italian team boss explained exclusively to The Race, “and it’s up to the stewards now. I think that they [Quartararo] are with them now.”
That follows on from speculation that Suzuki was one of the teams considering lodging a protest after Quartararo escaped penalty for what appears to be a clear infringement of the rules, which firmly state that safety equipment “must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity”.
Bizarre scenes with @FabioQ20! 👀
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The rumours of Suzuki involvement were in turn kicked off by comments made by reigning world champion Joan Mir after the race, who complained that not only was Quartararo’s actions a hazard to himself, his decision to remove his chest protector and throw it onto the track after it came loose made it a safety hazard to the whole grid.
“The only thing that is not normal is that,” explained Mir, “he moved his hand from the handlebar and he threw it [his chest protector[. There are riders coming, and the chest protector is plastic, so… you can make a super dangerous situation in turn three, opening the throttle.
“Hopefully nothing happened but yeah, in that moment [of the suit coming apart], well, it’s like this, no? It’s true that I don’t know what the rules say about this, but if you don’t use your leather suit and your leather suit is open, you cannot race.
“So of course it’s dangerous for him, only for him but it’s really dangerous. Let’s see what they will decide.”