Petronas Yamaha Handed Hefty Penalties After Foul Play in the Spanish Grand Prix
A technical oversight with respect to Yamaha Motor Company at the Spanish Grand Prix 2020 in Valencia, has cost Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) 37 World Championship Team points. This drops SRT to second in the teams title with 198 points, giving a healthy lead to Team Suzuki Ecstar who are on 242 points.
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) confirmed earlier that the Yamaha company have had 50 constructor points deducted after an illicit engine was used at the season-opening Spanish GP. The points withdrawal equates to double of what they acquired at the race after Fabio Quartararo’s triumphant victory. Their manufacturing factory Monster Energy Yamaha outfit have also had 20 huge championship team points removed for the second-place finish of Maverick Vinales. Yamaha drops from first to third position in the constructors championship, with both the SRT and the Yamaha teams getting points deductions in the teams championship. The sanction was passed out by the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel under Article 3.5.5 of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix guidelines.
The Stewards’ sanction was related to technical infringements to the engine used in the bike Yamaha YZR-M1. Any certain modification to the race engine during the course of that particular season requires the unanimous approval of all the current members of the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA). Early in this season of MotoGP, Yamaha faced some issues of authenticity with the YZR-M1’s engines which needed immediate replacement valves of a whole new design, according to the sources in the paddock.
A control engine is investigated and sealed towards the start of the season and race engines, of which each team permitted to use a limited number, are then contrasted with the control engine during the season for technical consistency. In this instance, the methodology for notification of technical changes was not given hid to by Yamaha Motor, bringing about the sanctions handed to their teams.
However, all hope is not lost for them, as none of the individual racers (Frankie Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo of SRT, as well as Maverick Vinales of Monster Energy Yamaha) were handed points deduction in the world championship race.
Moreover, they’ve been handed a huge late boost as well, with star member of their team Valentino Rossi set to comeback after testing negative for Coronavirus. The veteran Italian racer is still chasing an individual milestone of the 200th podium of his career.
Fans should also keep in mind that should Rossi test positive for Covid-19 today, then backup replacement Garrett Gerloff will take his place. Rossi is chasing a record 200th podium after two decades in the racing circuit, stuck on 199 after a sluggish start to the 2020 campaign. His long-term friend and mechanic Alex Briggs told Foxsports.com.au about Rossi’s undying enthusiasm despite this season’s struggles:
“He is actually riding quite well this year, really well. The bike is working quite good, the team is working okay. Well we have three shots at it, you never know. So, let’s say 202.”
Suzuki biker Joan Mir, who currently has a 14-point lead over Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, without even winning a single race, has gone onto speak about the mounting pressure on him:
“For sure, there is the feeling of a little bit more pressure because the championship is getting older, so every one of us feels like it’s going to finish soon. I don’t care about the others, I just care about my feelings. I have a great feeling on the bike.”
Although he has not been able to win a race this season till now, Mir has truly been the picture of consistency with three second place finishes and three third place finishes from 11 races.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia which is just 4 kilometres long, will host the European Grand Prix this weekend followed by the Valencia GP a week later. The season will conclude on November 22, with the Portuguese GP at Portimao, Faro.