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GP Week : Issue 166
MARQUEZ OFF THE HOOK Pons team backs out of protest The long-standing controversy hanging over the Moto2 title battle has finally been laid to rest after former World Champion Sito Pons stepped back from the option of taking the matter to the independent CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). It means that Marc Marquez retains the 16 points he won finishing third in the Catalunyan GP, which were removed by Race Direction for dangerous riding, only to be restored later that day when the FIM Stewards over-turned the decision. His victim was Pons 40 HP Tuenti rider Pol Espargaro, and the team appealed; but the FIM’s own court upheld the stewards’ decision. With a 48-point lead over Espargaro, this result will probably make no difference to the outcome of an increasingly distant battle. Marquez had been warned already for a rough move on Luthi at round one in Qatar. At Catalunya the penalty was imposed after he had cut across Espargaro’s front wheel after almost crashing, causing his fellow- Spaniard to crash instead. The wording of the original sanction failed to mention other cumulative transgressions, and the stewards judged the single incident to be no more than a racing accident. It was the first time in the history of the Race Direction that one of their decisions had been over-ruled. Pons told GPWEEK in July that he was considering taking the matter to the CAS, but last week issued a statement pulling out of any further action. “The team still believes that the decision is unjust and does not reflect the facts of the incident,” said a team statement, adding that the team “profoundly laments the lack of respect which the judgement displays towards the authority of Race Direction” . MOTOGP >>> NEWS 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: