Montmeló - Maverick Vinales' decision to carry out a series of extravagant
wheelies at the end of qualifying for the Catalunya Grand Prix backfired
when he was handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday's race.
Yamaha rider Vinales had finished third in qualifying behind
pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo and world champion Marc Marquez but was
penalised for impeding the French rider.
"Honestly, I don't know what to say," said Vinales after being relegated to sixth place on the grid.
"I thought I saw the chequered flag and I began to salute the crowd
by doing 'wheelies'. I didn't see Fabio until too late, I didn't expect
Despite being unintentional and offering his apologies, the race
stewards felt that Vinales was riding "irresponsibly, at slow speed on
the track and impeding another rider".
Leading grid positions for Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix after qualifying at Montmelo on Saturday:
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT), 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda), 3. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT)
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha), 5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati), 6. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha)
7. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati), 8. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki), 9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR)
10. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Honda), 11. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki), 12. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM)