MotoGP: Marc Marquez's Phillip Island disqualification too harsh

By Steve ParrishBBC motorcycling commentator
MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo wins controversial Australian GP

There was no shortage of drama over race weekend at Phillip Island and I have never experienced anything like it before.

I feel very sorry for Marc Marquez and the penalty he incurred was bigger than the crime. He did everything almost right but missed the pit window by one lap so for him to be penalised and disqualified from the race was way too much.

It is the rules - but the rules for this grand prix were cobbled together because of the tyre issues, which triggered all the changes in the race.

In motorbike racing, you normally only pit because of dramatic changes in the weather conditions - and in that case all you do is put on new tyres.

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It is unprecedented to have to pit and change for a bike with the same tyres because they have worn out too quickly, and also unprecedented to have a pit window of two laps.

MotoGP riders are not in radio contact with the pits so they have to rely on looking at pit boards and signals, which is not easy when you are doing 200mph, and it will have had an impact on their concentration.

Marquez will not have seen Dani Pedrosa - who was in third place behind him - going into the pit lane.

He will have seen Lorenzo going in on the following lap and probably assumed it was the first lap of the open window and he would be going in on the next lap - but by then it was too late.

Honda have put their hand up and admitted their mistake and I feel sorry for whoever is responsible.

The confusion could have been alleviated if race organisers had a system like waving white flags when the two-lap pit window opened. That would have made it easier for someone who did not see the pit board.

If the pit stops had gone right, it would have been incredibly close between Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo - they were so close as Marquez exited the pits - but I think the championship leader would have won the race because he was the faster of the two. However, ifs and buts don't count!

Marquez came into this weekend with what looked like an unassailable lead over Lorenzo, so to have that lead cut to 18 points with 50 points still available in the last two races of the season means it is all up for grabs - and it is not mathematically impossible for Pedrosa to win the title either.

One of Marquez's qualities is he is a young man with a smile on his face. He will believe he can win in Japan next week, and if he does it will just about sort the title out.

But things can go wrong as we saw with Britain's Scott Redding, who was looking good leading in the Moto2 championship before breaking his wrist in a crash on Saturday.

Redding might try to ride in Japan next weekend, but now he has to try to close a gap on Pol Espargaro, who leads by 16 points.

Redding is desperately unlucky. He has only had three crashes this year - others have had far more - and this one looks like it could end his hopes of emulating Barry Sheene and winning a world title.

Steve Parrish was speaking to BBC Sport's Elizabeth Hudson

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