Grand prix

Deniz Oncu gets double race ban for Austin incident | MotoGP

The FIM Stewards have handed Deniz Oncu a double race ban for causing the huge accident that stopped Sunday’s restarted COTA Moto3 Grand Prix.

The Tech KTM rider was judged to have triggered the incident ‘by swerving into the line of another rider’ on the back straight. ‘This contravenes the specific instructions given to all team/competitors by email and it is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors’.

Oncu slipstreamed past Jeremy Alcoba but then turned across before he was fully clear of the Italian, his rear wheel making contact with the front wheel of Alcoba’s bike. That caused Alcoba to fall, with his machine then struck at high speed by both Andrea Migno and Pedro Acosta, launching title leader Acosta high into the air before glancing the Armco barrier.

“You can overtake me and keep that line on a straight without coming towards me. I crashed while in sixth gear, probably at 200 km/h and I knew I had plenty of riders behind me: this is why I got really scared,” Alcoba said. “Fortunately we are all well – Acosta and Migno included – which is the most important thing.”

Although all riders miraculously escaped serious injury, the accident came just one week after the death of Dean Berta Vinales in a WorldSSP300 race, the third teenage death of the year in junior Moto3/SSP categories.

The reference to an email suggests the FIM Stewards have warned they would not tolerate such riding and have thus thrown the book at Oncu, who will miss the upcoming Misano and Portimao rounds before returning at the Valencia finale.

“I saw the face of Deniz, he was just destroyed after the first race,” said MotoGP champioin Joan Mir. “He didn’t make it on purpose and he’s not the only one that does this manoeuvre. But I think that the penalty is not only for his manoeuvre. It’s more to stop others doing this. It’s just a model of punishment.

“I agree with that. We cannot have these type of manoeuvres anymore. We lost this year a lot of kids and today we almost lost another one. So, we have to take some good decisions because these categories, the small ones with those bikes that are so easy to ride and the big groups, I think this is becoming so, so, so dangerous.”

Sunday’s race had already been stopped once, due to a highside for Filip Salac. After the second incident it was decided not to restart again and the result was taken from the original race.

That meant Izan Guevara was a surprise debut winner despite retiring from the lead of the restart with technical issues, while Acosta’s championship advantage was reduced to 30-points by runner-up Dennis Foggia.

Oncu’s punishment is double that recently given to Yuki Kunii, who was banned from the first Misano race for causing an accident for Alberto Surra by riding slowly on the racing line through the fastest corner of the track in FP3.

The last time a grand prix rider was given a two-race ban was when Romano Fenati grabbed Stefano Manzi’s front brake lever during the 2018 Misano Moto2 race.

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