News 4 Mar 2019

Long lap penalty to be introduced for 2019 MotoGP season

New penalty on offer for MotoGP stewards this year.

Image: Supplied.

A long lap penalty will be introduced to the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, the Grand Prix Commission has confirmed.

When the FIM MotoGP stewards impose a change of position penalty on a rider, for track limits or any other reason, there is a possibility of it being unfair, and it’s also difficult to monitor when there are multiple infractions.

To make a more fair and verifiable penalty, the Grand Prix Commission, after consultation with the Safety Commission, have agreed to introduce a new long lap penalty.

At every circuit a route will be defined and marked at a safe point around the track, usually an asphalt runoff area outside of a turn, which is some seconds slower than the normal racing line. The penalised rider must ride through the defined area within three laps of being notified, thereby suffering a penalty equivalent to several seconds on that lap.

Procedures will be in place to enable the stewards to use an equivalent time penalty in case the rider is unable to complete the long lap, such as in the case of a red flagged race.

This penalty will be added to the list of sanctions available to the FIM MotoGP stewards, and whilst it is primarily intended for track limits violations, it may be used in any circumstances deemed appropriate by the stewards. The drop position penalty will continue being available to the stewards.

The opening round of MotoGP World Championship is scheduled for this weekend at Losail International Circuit in Qatar.