Espargaró calls for change after pit incident
8 August 2017 – Aprilia's Aleix Espargaró believes MotoGP needs to change its flag-to-flag rules after his incident in the pit lane with Suzuki's Andrea Iannone at the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Espargaró and Iannone pitted on the same lap to switch from wet tyres to slicks, after the race started in damp conditions at Brno.
Following his bike change, Aprilia released Espargaró into the path of Iannone, who was attempting to enter Suzuki's pit area to switch to his slick-clad GSR-XX.
Iannone fell in avoidance though thankfully the bike avoided his awaiting mechanics, but the incident scuppered his race, and he trailed home in 19th position.
Aprilia was deemed culpable and Espargaró was forced to cede three places to his rivals as a penalty, before coming home eighth, and feels MotoGP needs a rethink in such a situation.
"I was one of the first to change bikes, but unfortunately, the episode in pit lane involved Iannone," said Espargaró.
"Luckily, there were no physical consequences for him and the guys on his team, but it is not easy to manage such a hectic situation.
"We will talk about it in the Safety Commission. It seems appropriate to think of some change that would make the flag-to-flag situation less chaotic."
Aprilia Team Manager Fausto Gresini felt the sanction issued to Espargaró was "entirely unfair" and echoed his rider's sentiment that a better solution is required.
"It's a pity about the episode with Iannone where neither rider was at fault," said Gresini.
"From this point of view, the penalty inflicted on the rider is entirely unfair.
"A remedy and set rules for this situation will need to be found, but it is clear that the rider was not to blame."