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Wheel changes expected in MotoGP rain stops.

by Peter McLaren

One of the most significant rule changes ahead of the 2005 MotoGP season has been the new 'no stopping for rain' directive, which means that dry premier-class races will no longer be stopped should rain fall.

The rule has effectively brought MotoGP in line with leading four-wheeled sports, such as Formula One, where drivers change tyres at their own discretion - and under full racing conditions. It also means that restarted 'sprint races', as seen at Mugello last year, will be a thing of the past.

However, many are asking what exactly the MotoGP teams and riders will do when its starts raining during a race - will they change tyres, tyres and brakes (carbon to steel discs and pads to match) or could the rider even be allowed to switch to a different bike with a full wet set-up ready to go?

Given such possibilities, Crash.net asked IRTA's Mike Trimby for his opinion on what will happen in the case of rain interrupting a dry MotoGP race this year - and it seems that the former option is most likely.

"The regulation envisages that, in the case of rain, the riders come in and change wheels," Trimby explained. "Change of machine is not allowed."

But, with MotoGP races around half the length of an F1 race - making time lost in the pits harder to recover by the chequered flag - and refuelling not needed, another theory is that tyre manufacturers could offer some form of intermediate, grooved, tyre when rain is a realistic possibility.

This tyre could be ridden 'competitively' in either the wet or dry, thereby avoiding the need for a costly pit stop.

"Choice of tyre in marginal conditions will become more critical and I imagine that the tyre companies may well be working on compromise solutions," commented Trimby. "The same will apply to brakes where carbon brakes are not supposed to work well in rain."

The 2005 MotoGP World Championship will start with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on April 10 - a wet race one year ago.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gibernau raises his hand for the rain, Italian MotoGP, 2004
Tamada slides in the wet, Dutch MotoGP, 2004
Michelin rain tyre, Czech MotoGP, 2004
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jack Miller - CWM LCR Honda
Jorge Martinez `Aspar` presents Marc Marquez with 2014 MotoGP world champion certificate at FIM Awards (Pic: Aspar)
Miguel Oliveira tests 2015 Red Bull KTM (pic:Red Bull KTM).
Julian Simon tests for QMMF (pic: QMMF)
Xavier Simeon tests Gresini`s 2015 Kalex (pic: Gresini)
Enea Bastianini makes Honda debut (pic: Gresini)
Francesco Bagnaia tests new Aspar Mahindra (pic: Aspar)
Johann Zarco tests for Ajo Moto2 team (pic: Ajo)
Maria Herrera tests Calvo KTM (pic: Repsol)
Fabio Quartararo prepares for rookie Moto3 season (Repsol)

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