Moto3 riders penalised for ‘hand off the handlegrip’

Moto3 riders Collin Veijer, Joel Kelso and Diogo Moreira have all been given three-place grid penalties for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Collin Veijer, Moto3, Japanese MotoGP, 29 September
Collin Veijer, Moto3, Japanese MotoGP, 29 September

The FIM Stewards punished the trio after they were observed riding on the Motegi main straight during Saturday morning's final practice ‘with your left hand off the grip and move it up the handlebar, or to partially grip the handlebar’.

Moving the left hand inwards has a potential aerodynamic benefit through drag reduction but is considered ‘irresponsible riding, causing danger to other competitors’.

Watch Veijer's hand closely in the clip below, which appears to move briefly inwards.

However, according to the timestamp given in the Stewards notification, the moment Veijer (14th) was punished for happened at '08:49:25' which would be 9 minutes and 25sec into the half-hour session (or 20:35 remaining).

Kelso (15th) was observed breaking the grip rules at 09:05:16 and Moreira (4th) at 09:08:40. The session ended at 09:10.

The Moto3 technical rules have already clamped down on the use of abnormally 'long' handlebar grips, which allowed a rider to move their hands inwards on the straights.

'Handlebars must have a width of not less than 450 mm...The maximum permitted overall length of the handlebar grip is 130 mm (Moto3 class). The handlebar grip must be fitted at the end of the handlebar, with the only exceptions being the handlebar end plug and/or the fittings of the brake lever protection.'

Yesterday, Kelso joined Ivan Ortola in being disqualified from the Catalunya results due to an incorrect oil sample.

Read More