Joe Roberts denied elusive Moto2 podium in MotoGP Italian Grand Prix by controversial penalty

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Joe Roberts’ elusive first Moto2 podium of 2021 was stripped from him for exceeding track limits on the final lap of the MotoGP Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Mugello. And some top names in the sport believe the penalty should not have happened.

“In the end I got third position, but for the rules, the way they are, it got taken away,” Roberts said after the race. “I don’t agree with this rule and I think a lot of riders could agree with me. I can see in ways when you make a clear advantage that something should happen, but this track – the way it’s designed – the curbs come back on themselves., Really I don’t think there’s any advantage that I gained.”

Roberts was correct. Several riders in the field did agree, including Maverick Vinales and Jack Miller.

“It’s true that the rules are the rules, but sometimes we need to be a little bit more flexible, because for me Joe Roberts did nothing wrong,” said Vinales at Crash.net. “For example, if where Roberts touched the green paint there was grass, nothing would happen, because he’s really straight by that point.”

Miller was even more adamant.

“I think the curb should’ve been painted all the way, or more of an angle, not sharp, a more natural line,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, Joe Roberts losing that position was in my opinion bullshit.

“He deserved it 100 percent. He fought for that win. He didn’t gain anything.”

Roberts’ penalty came in Turn 5 at the Mugello circuit in a corner marked by curbing that is legal to run on and a wide swatch of green paint outside of it. After the turn straightens out, the green painted area veers abruptly across what had been a legal portion of the track.

His penalty equated to the loss of one position, dropping Roberts from third to fourth.

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Robert had another podium taken from him at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Round 3 after contact from another rider on the final lap.

“I think that should be the determining rule on this,” Roberts said. “If you make an advantage, then you should get something. Anyways, it is what it is and there’s not much I can do about it, but tell you I don’t agree with it.”

There were track limit penalties handed out in all three classes at Mugello, including two that canceled one another out in MotoGP.

In Moto2 Remy Gardner scored the victory by +.014 seconds over Raul Fernandez. Italian rider Marco Bezzecchi was awarded the final podium position.

This was the first victory of the season for Gardner, who led the race from flag to flag.

In the MotoGP class, Fabio Quartararo claimed a 2.5-second win over Miguel Oliveira. Joan Mir was third.

The event was marred by an accident in qualification that claimed the life of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier.