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Zarco handed Moto GP pitlane start penalty

Ducati’s Johann Zarco will begin the Styrian Grand Prix from the pitlane after being penalised for his role in a crash with Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli over the weekend.

Zarco, 30, was involved in a high-speed crash with Morbidelli, 25, at turn three in Spielberg, with their cartwheeling bikes missing Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales by centimetres.

Zarco and Morbidelli were summoned to a stewards’ meeting at the track on Thursday to discuss Sunday’s accident.

“After evaluation it was determined that there was evidence of irresponsible riding from Johann Zarco, which has resulted in a penalty,” MotoGP said in a statement.

“The Frenchman will start his next race from pitlane.”

Some rivals blamed the Frenchman for taking an unusual line while braking into turn three, although Zarco denied making a deliberate move.

Zarco fractured his wrist in the crash and required surgery.

He missed Friday practice at the Red Bull Ring but is set to race on Sunday after MotoGP confirmed he had passed a medical exam.

Zarco had to wait 48 hours after his operation before his fitness test and he has been cleared to take part in Saturday’s Free Practice 3 (FP3) session.

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