Riders discuss 'Tour de France-like' touring in Q2
Aragon poleman Jorge Lorenzo likened the touring seen in Aragon Grand Prix qualifying to the “Tour de France”, leading to a debate on awarding harsher penalties for such behaviour.
Numerous riders aborted laps towards the end of Q2 as they sought a tow from a rival or tried to stop someone using them as a reference, leading to a congested final flying lap.
Lorenzo managed to avoid getting caught in a group on his final lap, and was able to snatch pole away from Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso by 0.014 seconds.
When asked if harsher punishments should be in place for those who deliberately ride slowly in qualifying in search of a tow, as has been the case in Moto3 in recent years, Lorenzo believes there should be, and that this behaviour has no place in the premier class.
“Yeah, for sure, in my opinion they need to penalise the riders who wait a lot on the track, because we are in MotoGP, we are with big bikes, and theoretically the best ones are in MotoGP, the ones with more experience, the older ones,” he said.
“And in my opinion, they don't need to wait to have a tow to improve the laptimes.
“But today we see the qualifying like a Moto3 race or Tour de France, and in my opinion it shouldn't be like this in MotoGP.
“Also in Moto3 it shouldn't be like that, but even more in MotoGP.”
Teammate Dovizioso agreed what happened in Q2 was “on the limit”, but that it was “not enough” to warrant punishment for someone, and feels it would be “difficult” make a clear enough rule for this in MotoGP.
“Yes, it's better to not happen but is difficult,” he added.
“I think what happened today was on the limit, but not enough to penalise someone. It's not nice to see that, and also if I speak about myself, I would like to have a clean lap, but I couldn't because everybody slow down.
“So, I think the rules is the same for MotoGP and Moto3 and Moto2. Just in MotoGP it happens in a different way and some times.
“Yes, it's better to have something, but it's difficult to make a clear rules about that.
“So what happened today, it wasn't nice, but not enough to penalise something.”
Honda's Marc Marquez, who shadowed Dovizioso late on in qualifying before aborting his last lap due to encountering traffic, echoed the Italian's comments and accepts searching for a tow in qualifying as part of racing.
“For me, racing is like this,” said Marquez, who will start third.
“I think for sure everybody try to find a good lap, try to be alone, especially the fastest riders, but when you have traffic, the slower rider always try to follow the fastest one, because it's easier, and then if you want to avoid this, you need to change the strategy of qualifying.
“But I think it's racing, and we need to manage, to find a way to be alone on the track.
“But the good thing in MotoGP is if you slow down too much, then the tyres are not ready to make the laptime. If you are not in the line, it's not in the best way, but it's like this, you can do it.”