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Bagnaia and Acosta Criticize ‘Towing’ in MotoGP, Call for Higher Standards to Dissuade Imitation by Younger Classes



Bagnaia and Acosta express concern: 'Following closely in MotoGP resembles Moto3 tactics', 'The newer riders will emulate our actions'

"It bothers me that MotoGP is starting to mimic Moto3, and that's a significant issue in my view."

Once again this season, during the practice sessions and particularly in the qualifying rounds at the Sachsenring, a number of MotoGP competitors were observed intentionally slowing down on the circuit in hopes of finding a slipstream.

However, while riders in the Moto3 category received 3 official cautions and 13 penalties for recording ‘one or more sectors at speeds slower than 135% of the best session time’ on Saturday, Stefan Bradl was the sole recipient of a ‘slow riding’ penalty in the premier class.

Bradl's delay in vacating the racing line interfered with Marc Marquez, yet it remains uncertain whether the German was attempting to draft behind at that moment.

Scenes from the Sachsenring, featuring a close call between Jack Miller and Marc Marquez during a braking maneuver at the first turn, came shortly after an incident where Miller and Jorge Martin were involved in some competitive tactics behind Francesco Bagnaia at Assen.

The current two-time world champion was aware that he would once more be a key focus for drafting in Germany and attempted a different strategy, which unfortunately failed because of yellow flags.

"Although our strategy wasn't flawless, I'm completely certain that everyone was ready for me at the pit," stated Bagnaia, the factory Ducati racer.

"I'm puzzled as to why certain MotoGP riders continue to draft, given that slipstreaming isn't necessary."

"We're leading figures in our sport, so being part of MotoGP means you have the capability to clock quick laps. Thus, I find it perplexing and disagreeable."

The Italian rider, who eventually secured the title lead with a win on Sunday, deemed it unnecessary to revisit the topic during the riders' Safety Commission meeting.

"We've had conversations before," he mentioned.

"However, my issue is that MotoGP appears similar to Moto3 due to the drafting, and this poses a significant concern for me."

Acosta suggests setting a better standard

At times, MotoGP appears to resemble Moto3 racing, yet Pedro Acosta, who was competing in Moto3 just three years prior, thinks that the younger class riders are merely mirroring the actions they observe in the top tier.

"Acosta noted that during the first qualifying round in Germany, it seemed like everyone was engaging in some towing tactics in MotoGP."

Ultimately, it's natural for the younger riders in Moto3 to mimic our actions, leading to a significant increase in penalties within the category.

"Perhaps it's time to initiate a conversation with the MotoGP participants, as the actions observed in Moto3 might be influenced by what they witness in MotoGP. It could be beneficial for us to set a more positive example."

"The issue begins when an individual engages in a certain action without facing any consequences or cautions, leading others to follow suit since it presents a benefit. Consequently, this might necessitate a more stringent approach."

Acosta emphasized his notable first win in the Moto3 category, which came uniquely from starting in the pit lane in Qatar, following a significant penalty for 'slow riding'.

Reflecting back, my sophomore appearance in the Moto3 series featured a challenging commencement from the pit lane in Qatar. The sanctions imposed at that time were quite stringent…

"Perhaps it's time to explore how we can enhance our strength in MotoGP."

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