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Bagnaia and Acosta Sound Alarm: MotoGP Turning into Moto3 with Towing Tactics

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Bagnaia and Acosta: ‘Drafting gives MotoGP a Moto3 appearance’, ‘The rookies will imitate us’

“It bothers me that MotoGP resembles Moto3, and this is a major issue for me.”

Once again this season, during practice sessions and particularly in qualifying at the Sachsenring, a number of MotoGP riders were intentionally riding slowly on the track to find a slipstream.

On Saturday, Moto3 riders faced strict scrutiny, receiving three official warnings and thirteen penalties for completing one or more slow sectors that exceeded 135% of the best session time. In contrast, the top-tier class saw only one penalty for slow riding, which was given to Stefan Bradl.

Despite the fact that Bradl interfered with Marc Marquez by not getting off the racing line quickly enough, it remains uncertain whether the German rider was attempting to get a slipstream advantage at that moment.

The action at the Sachsenring featured a close call between Jack Miller and Marc Marquez as they approached Turn 1. This incident came shortly after Miller and Jorge Martin engaged in some strategic maneuvering behind Francesco Bagnaia at Assen.

The current two-time world champion anticipated being a key slipstream target in Germany once more and decided to alter his approach, but this plan failed when yellow flags were deployed.

Factory Ducati rider Bagnaia commented, "Our strategy wasn't flawless, but I'm completely certain that everyone was waiting for me at the box."

"I don't get why certain riders in MotoGP continue to rely on a slipstream when it's not necessary."

"We are the best in our sport, so if you compete in MotoGP, you should be able to complete laps quickly. I don't get it, and I don't like it."

The Italian rider, who went on to secure the championship lead with a win on Sunday, found it unnecessary to raise the matter again during the riders' Safety Commission meeting.

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

"I dislike how MotoGP now resembles Moto3 with all the drafting, and this is a significant issue for me."

Acosta: 'Perhaps We Should Set a Better Example'

Despite MotoGP occasionally resembling Moto3, rookie Pedro Acosta, who was a Moto3 racer only three years prior, thinks that the younger riders are imitating the behaviors they observe in the top-tier MotoGP class.

Acosta remarked on the MotoGP qualifying session in Germany, noting that all the riders seemed to be toying around during the first qualifying round.

Ultimately, it's natural that if we engage in these behaviors, the younger riders in Moto3 will attempt to imitate them. Consequently, there were numerous penalties issued in Moto3.

"Perhaps we should have a discussion with the MotoGP riders, as some of the behaviors in Moto3 might be influenced by what they observe in MotoGP. It’s possible that we need to set a better example."

"The issue arises when someone gets away with it without any consequences or alerts, prompting others to follow suit since it gives them a benefit. Therefore, we might need to enforce stricter measures."

Acosta pointed out that his well-known first Moto3 win in Qatar, which began with a start from the pit lane, came after receiving a notable ‘slow riding’ penalty.

I recall my second race in the Moto3 championship, where I had to start from the pit lane in Qatar. The penalties at that time were quite severe…

“Perhaps we should explore ways to enhance our performance in MotoGP.”

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