until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


MotoGP introduces new dash warnings after controversies

by Matt Beer
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP race direction will use a new system of dashboard messages for rider behaviour warnings and equipment problems from this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

So far the dashboard messaging facility has been used for warnings such as flag signals or to announce the imposition of penalties, as well as team communications.

But – amid a season in which debate has raged over race direction’s handling of incidents – its usage will now be increased so that the officials can warn riders that their conduct’s putting them at risk of a penalty.

MotoGP race director Mike Webb explained that the timing of the additions’ introduction was because adjusting the systems had required “a bit of lead time” for manufacturers and organisers.

He said the rider conduct warnings would fill an important gap.

“There are times when a rider may do something we don’t like, but it is borderline and could have been a misjudgement or a mistake,” said Webb.

“However, if they repeat that behaviour and prove it was neither, it will incur a penalty.

“So the stewards want a warning signal to say ‘hey, don’t do that. We’re watching and if you do it again there will be a penalty’.

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“So there’s a new display on the dashboard called ‘warning’ and it’s specifically about rider behaviour.

“The warning signal says to the rider ‘what you’re doing, we don’t like it. Pay attention and if you continue there could be a penalty’.”

The other new signal is to order riders to deal with a problem with their equipment, and has been instigated after championship leader Fabio Quartararo’s leathers came open during the Barcelona race in June.

He continued to the finish in third place despite his chest being exposed.

“We had something that has never happened before, where a rider’s equipment – the leathers – wasn’t functioning correctly and we needed to tell the rider to fix it,” said Webb.

“And there isn’t really an appropriate signal, we have signals about a mechanical failure on the bike, signals about disqualifications and things like that, but we decided after this incident that we needed a specific signal about rider equipment because it’s different to a mechanical failure, where if a bike is leaking oil or water or something, it’s important the bike goes off the track immediately.

“In the case of a problem or fastening undone on rider equipment, or something that’s not immediately a problem but needs to be fixed, it’s a different situation.

“So we have a new signal on the dashboard, it shows ‘equipment’ on the rider dashboard and the meaning has been explained to the riders and teams: there is a problem with your equipment and you’re required to fix it immediately.

“If that means coming into the pits to fix it, OK. Or if you can fix it yourself on track, that’s also OK.

“What we require is that you fix it immediately.”

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