Further measures have been announced to clamp down on Moto3 riders waiting for a tow in practice and qualifying.
Race Direction and the FIM MotoGP Stewards are determined to stop this dangerous behaviour and have therefore decided to significantly increase the penalties.
Changes from the previous rules are in bold below. From now, the following criteria will be applied in Moto3 Free Practice and Qualifying:
- Each sector time must not be more than 110% of the rider's current personal best time for that sector.
- The first lap out of the pits for each session will not be counted (all sectors).
- Sector 1 of an OUT lap will not be counted (not 2 sectors as previously allowed).
- Sector 4 of an IN lap will not be counted.
- Deliberately running off track will not avoid a penalty. A slow sector counts whether it is on track or on the runoff area.
- Allowance will be made for unavoidable problems, eg. crash, coming into contact with another rider, rain showers during a session, etc.
- Three or more slow sectors (not necessarily consecutive) in one session will result in a penalty. The standard penalty is increased to 12 grid positions, plus 1 Penalty Point.
(The only exception is a rider's first ever offence during the season where no penalty point will be added, however for repeat offences at other events additional Penalty Points will be applied).
- A second offence at the same event will be penalized with a back of the grid start, plus 2 Penalty Points.
- A third offence at the same event will be penalized with a pit lane start, plus 4 Penalty Points.
- A fourth offence at the same event will be penalized with disqualification from the race
- Penalties for riding slowly on the racing line, disturbing another rider, and for dangerous riding will still apply. These penalties will be given regardless of the sector times.
To avoid the risk of such punishments, but still benefit from a tow, some Moto3 riders wait in the pits until they see a faster competitor heading out and pull in behind them as they ride down pit lane...