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Race Direction to enforce stricter penalties for Moto3

Race Director Mike Webb has said Moto3 riders will face more immediate penalties in an attempt to stamp out riders touring on the racing line in the small class
MotoGP Race Direction is ready to enforce stricter and more immediate penalties for Moto3 riders seeking a tow in free practice or qualifying.

A problem that is commonplace in the junior class came to a head on Saturday afternoon in Barcelona when Race Direction warned thirty riders after a plethora of Moto3 machines were coasting in and around the racing line.

Speaking to the riders on Wednesday before free practice started at Assen, race director Mike Webb explained penalties from now on will impact that rider on the weekend of his misdemeanour.

If, he said, the offense is repeated throughout the year, an accumulative penalty will be enforced, with stronger implications for the guilty rider.

“In the past we've given warnings, penalty points and various penalties to stop this type of behaviour,” Webb told the official MotoGP website. “It appears the message isn't getting through so we're going to apply penalties that are more immediate, specifically grid positions for that race.

“If someone is clearly going slow, disturbing other riders they can expect to start from further back on the grid for that race. It's an accumulative thing. If someone keeps on doing it the penalty will get higher and higher as the year goes on.”

Webb also explained how Race Direction will assess the rider's speed: Should they consistently lap below the 107 percent limit of their average lap time without a viable excuse, they will then be investigated.

“What a lot of the crew chiefs have told us is that they want their riders to go fast every lap,” said Webb. “It's the way to evaluate their lap even if they're going out of the pits or coming into the pits. In order to give us guidelines what we've established is a minimum lap time and sector time of 107 percent of that rider's normal lap time.

“It's a guide for us. It doesn't mean they will automatically be penalised if they're slower than that but if they are slower than that they need to have a pretty good reason. If they're on an out-lap or they're trying to get out of a faster rider's way to clear the track…some reason. It gives us a start point to look closely at a rider if he's slower than that benchmark, why? If we think he's riding slowly deliberately to follow other riders to wait for other riders he gets a penalty for being slow.”

Should these new penalties not be adhered, Race Direction have a more radical proposal in mind for future races, which would involve less track time for everyone.

“The briefing today was this is step one. It's a clearer guideline of what's allowed and what's not. If that doesn't work we are prepared to change the format of qualifying. I'd prefer not to do that during a season so if the behaviour gets better and we don't have to change it but if not we will have to change it – not a Superpole type of situation but we'll have it stylised so the riders get much more limited number of laps on track.

“They'll much more likely be alone making their fast lap. It will basically limit their track time so one fast lap is a very valuable thing and they won't slow down to lose that fast lap.

"The last race in Catalunya was a very big problem. In Moto3 at one point we had 30 riders waiting to follow – more or less the whole field – were waiting for a fast lap. We have to stop this behaviour. It's dangerous and we are always putting measures in place to try and stop it. We're just getting stronger because the behaviour is continuing."

When asked how the Moto3 riders reacted to this news, Webb said he received positive feedback in the form of applause.

“Well there was actually applause at the end. This affects all the riders. Everyone has a problem when there's a slow rider in front of them. If 30 people at a time are slow no one gets a fast lap. It's in everyone's interest to improve this. We'll provide the stick of dishing out penalties to the people that are slow then it helps everyone.”

Tagged as: Webb , Moto3 , Kent

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June 25, 2015 12:07 PM

when race direction have to do something like that, sad to fell not all riders able to be true and twist the own act of race disturbirng others riders, racing is racing, but why i saw a lot of hard riders didnt need to do that while now there is more riders ride hard but not true? "...race...has change..." (Solid Snake voice)

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