News 4 Mar 2016

Interim penalties scrapped by Grand Prix Commission

Some important revisions confirmed for 2016 season.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The Grand Prix Commission has introduced a number of revisions to the 2016 MotoGP World Championship regulations, including the abolition of interim Penalty Points that saw Valentino Rossi forced to start Valencia’s title decider from the rear of the grid last year.

“Following recent decisions concerning the competence of race direction and stewards to impose penalties, other modifications have been made to the disciplinary regulations,” a statement read. “The panel of stewards will be known as the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel and they will be responsible for deciding on penalties that are not considered to be matters of fact.

“Anyone receiving a penalty from the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel may appeal to the FIM MotoGP Court of Appeal which is required to hear and rule on any appeals within four days. The system of Penalty Points will now only count towards the penalty of disqualification from an event, which will happen when a rider accumulates 10 Penalty Points.

“The interim penalties previously triggered after accumulating four or seven points, no longer apply. Penalty Points will continue to be recorded against the record of the rider for 365 days. However, when a rider has accumulated 10 or more points and suffered a disqualification, 10 points are removed from his record.”

Other changes announced include that the position that a machine must take up in the marked positions on the starting grid has been defined more precisely, plus the procedure to be adopted when the sighting lap has been dry but there is rain whilst the riders are on the grid has been modified.

In addition, under previous regulations the penalty imposed during the actual race for overtaking under a yellow flag was fixed with the rider having to go back a number of places. In future it is possible for different penalties to be imposed, but still including the possibility of the rider having to go back a number of places.

A new condition has been included in the regulations which reflects obligations on teams and riders already included in the Team Participation Agreements concerning public pronouncements. The effect of the regulation is that Teams and Riders must not make statements or issue press releases that are considered to be irresponsible and hence damaging to the championship.