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Malaysian MotoGP: Marquez hit with 6-place grid penalty after taking pole

Marc Marquez. (Xinhua/Nikku/IANS)

Sepang (Malaysia), Nov 3 (IANS) After taking pole position, Spanish MotoGP rider Marc Marquez (Honda) on Saturday was handed a six-place grid penalty in the Malaysian Grand Prix starting lineup for impeding Andrea Iannone of Italy (Suzuki) and for being a repeat offender.

Marquez, who has already secured the 2018 MotoGP title, will start from seventh place, while Johann Zarco of France (Yamaha Tech 3) will start from pole, with Italian rider Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Iannone in the first row, reports Efe news.

“Marc Marquez was found to be riding in an irresponsible manner being slow on the racing line and disturbing another rider,” the MotoGP Stewards Panel announced via Twitter.

Marquez took his 80th career pole position despite a crash on the wet track, after heavy rains delayed the second qualifying for almost over an hour here at the Sepang circuit.

The penalty was for blocking Iannone’s entry into the hairpin Turn 9, and was Marquez’s second offense this season after being docked three positions at the Grand Prix of the Americas in April for impeding Maverick Viñales of Spain (Yamaha), although Marquez still managed to win the race.

Speaking at a press conference before the penalty was announced, Marquez said: “Today I took profit from one of my strongest points: adapting quickly to the conditions.”

Until the torrential rain started in Q1, Marquez had been fastest, but he managed to get into the garage just in time, while Viñales and Jordi Torres of Spain (Ducati) failed to do so, and the latter suffered a sharp fall and fractured the thumb of his left hand.


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