Within the early levels of Saturday morning’s third follow of the weekend (formally designated as FP2), Espargaro and Morbidelli got here collectively on observe.
Morbidelli had simply handed the Aprilia at Flip 5 earlier than Espargaro tried to do the identical at Flip 6, with the pair connecting as they tried to show in.
Each ran large at Flip 6 earlier than an irate Espargaro struck Morbidelli’s crash helmet because the Italian gesticulated to the Aprilia rider to settle down.
The incident was positioned underneath investigation by the FIM MotoGP stewards, who’ve hit Espargaro with a €10,000 positive and a six-place grid drop for the grand prix for what it deemed was unsportsmanlike behaviour.
An announcement from the stewards learn: “On 18 November 2023 at 15:07.19, throughout Grand Prix of Qatar Free Apply 2 session, you have been noticed to have behaved in an aggressive method together with bodily putting quantity 21 [Morbidelli].
“This contravenes Article 220.127.116.11 of the FIM Grand Prix World Championship Rules [stating] ‘any corrupt or fraudulent act, or any motion of prejudicial to the pursuits of the conferences or of the game, carried out by an individual or a bunch of individuals occurring throughout an occasion’.
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Crew
“It’s due to this fact an infringement of the FIM Grand Prix World Championship Rules, being detrimental to the curiosity of the game.
“For the above causes, the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has imposed a positive of 10,000 euros and 6 Grid Positions penalty for the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar MotoGP Race (in accordance with articles 3.2.1 and three.3.2.3.”
Espargaro’s grid penalty will apply solely to Sunday’s grand prix and never Saturday night’s dash.
LCR Honda’s Iker Lecuona has additionally been hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Bastianini throughout Q1 in qualifying on Saturday.
It will drop the Spaniard from twenty first to final on the grid for Sunday’s race.