The faint contact cut a critical wire in Pedrosa’s traction control system, causing the Spaniard to lose control when gassing out of the corner. For his part, the 20-year-old Marquez ran wide and into the gravel, but managed to recover en route to his sixth victory of the season and a 39-point lead in the points.
Marquez has ran afoul of race direction already in his rookie MotoGP campaign – the points leader docked two championship points at Silverstone for not slowing down for a yellow caution flag during the pre-race warmup. Marquez went on to crash at the same spot competitor Cal Crutchlow went down, forcing race marshals to evade the Honda rider’s bike. Earlier in the season, at Jerez, Marquez also made contact during an aggressive overtaking maneuver on his main contender and reigning MotoGP champion, Jorge Lorenzo.
Marquez has a history of reprimands during his seasons in the support class as well, most recently during his title-winning Moto2 campaign. Multiple penalties in the 2012 season included a 1-minute time penalty at the Catalunya round for colliding with Pol Espargaro, which was later successfully appealed. He also was penalized for colliding with Simone Corsi during a practice session for the Valencia finale, which forced him to start from the back of the grid. The latter incident also earned the censure from fellow riders, not the least of which being Valentino Rossi.
The latest incident is a two-fold threat to Honda’s world championship hopes. The crash effectively ends Pedrosa’s title bid, now 59 points adrift of his teammate. Marquez’s 39-point lead over Lorenzo could be threatened by any penalty imposed by Race Direction.