How did Jorge Martin escape a potential penalty at inaugural MotoGP India Grand Prix?
The incident took place in the final laps of the race after MotoGP’s TV cameras revealed that the zipper on Martin’s leathers had opened up to his chest
Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer Jorge Martin claimed the second spot at the inaugural Indian MotoGP race held at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh yesterday. Martin of Prima Pramac, however, may feel lucky having escaped the Indian Grand Prix without being sanctioned. The MotoGP championship contender had to face an unexpected challenge after the zipper of the wearpack opened up suddenly during the closing stages of the competition. The incident took place in the final laps of the race after MotoGP’s TV cameras revealed that the zipper on Martin’s leathers had opened up to his chest, an offence which is prohibited by the series’ rulebook. Despite facing a leather malfunction, Martin managed to save a potential black flag.
Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo had to face a similar situation during his fight for the podium at the Catalan Grand Prix two years back. The Frenchman was slapped a three-second penalty after his suit came undone back then. The incident resulted in a change in rule and it was specified that “equipment must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during.” This change would have meant that Jorge Martin would have a penalty yesterday.
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Though, another change in rule is understood to have saved Martin as he received a warning from race control. The Spaniard reacted to the message by closing up his leathers. “For many years we’ve had dashboard messages where race direction can send messages to riders on the bike; flag signals and information about penalties, things like that. But a couple of things have come up recently, one is at the Catalan GP we had something that has never happened before, where a rider’s equipment, leathers, wasn’t functioning correctly and we needed to tell the rider to fix it,” race director Mike Webb said after Quartararo’s incident, as per The Race.
"In the case of a problem or fastening undone on rider equipment, or something that’s not immediately a problem but needs to be fixed, it’s a different situation. So we have a new signal on the dashboard, it shows ‘equipment’ on the rider dashboard and the meaning has been explained to the riders and teams: there is a problem with your equipment and you’re required to fix it immediately,” he added.
Jorge Martin attempted to sit up and zip his suit, almost conceding his spot in the process to Quartararo and the Spaniard ultimately succeeded in avoiding a sanction. Apart from this, extreme weather conditions and dehydration also turned out to be some of the challenging factors for Martin. Overcoming all these obstacles, the Pramac Ducati rider ended the race at the second spot. He is currently 13 points behind Francesco Bagnaia in the overall standings.