Categories: MotoGP

Freddie Spencer is the First Person to Blame When an Incident Occurs on a Race Track

RiderTua.com – After the MotoGP race in Jerez, Johann Zarco criticized Freddie Spencer (chairman of the FIM stewards) who is the number 1 figure most riders blame first if there is a penalty. The LCR Honda rider, who is known for his eloquence and detailed statements, immediately attacked him and was thrown out of the room.

For your information, when riders are called before the FIM stewards they will be questioned and may be subject to fines or other penalties. But they always get the opportunity to express their point of view.

Freddie Spencer is the First Person to Blame When an Incident Occurs on a Race Track

Johann Zarco may be the most outspoken, but he is not the first to rebel against Freddie Spencer. At 33 years old, Zarco is not the oldest driver on the grid. Aleix Espargaro (also someone who is very harsh in his criticism) is almost 1 year older and has started more races. But the Frenchman has won two Moto2 world titles and has at least an equally clear understanding of racing etiquette, of right and wrong.

Freddie Spencer – Marc Marquez

And after extending his contract with Honda for 2 years (probably his last), he doesn’t need to be shy or mince words. Surprisingly, the trigger for his anger is not punishment but the absence of punishment. For him, it was a sign of weakness because race stewards often overreacted or underreacted.

Freddie voluntarily accepted all the criticism when he took over as chief stewards in 2019 to take over the role of a perpetually overworked race director. Surprisingly, the 62-year-old former rider steadfastly refused interviews following the events at Jerez and ignored the opportunity to explain himself. This behavior strengthens the impression of arrogance on him.

During his career as a rider, Freddie was an extraordinary talent like Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez in their glory days. He is an extraordinary rider. Freddie took the 500cc world title from Kenny Roberts in 1983 (if the stewards had punished his carelessness on the final lap in Sweden then the outcome would have been different), and in 1985 he became world champion in both the 250cc and 500cc classes. After that, his performance dropped sharply as if he had forgotten how to race.

Freddie Spencer is known to always be very mysterious. Once, the team and tire technicians all went to Brazil for pre-season testing, but Freddie didn’t show up there. But when he went from superstar to underdog almost overnight, that might be a little easier to understand. Not that it just makes things more mysterious.

Going back to last week’s Jerez GP, when Aleix Espargaro pushed Zarco out of the race for a botched overtaking maneuver, one might have thought that at least the Aprilia rider would have had a bump on the wrist and Zarco would have been satisfied with that. If the stewards want to, with their choice of different TV angles and their ‘omniscience’, then they have all the options. But that’s not the problem.

“Spencer looked at me as if he wanted to know what I wanted. He wanted me to complain about Aleix, he was waiting for me to do that. I said, ‘I’m not going to complain. Don’t ask me what you should do’. I said he wasn’t fit for this job because he didn’t make the right decisions at the right time and he wasn’t in the right place,” stressed Zarco.

Apparently Zarco was so emotional that he was thrown out of the room. As usual, there was some instability at a very busy weekend for the stewards. Joan Mir, for example, was annoyed because Marc Marquez only lost one position after crashing into him hard during the sprint. The previous year, Mir received a double long lap penalty for a similar violation.

The stewards may have good reasons for this difference, but their ‘secrecy’ means we will never know. And Freddie Spencer will continue to bear the brunt of the feud.

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