Both Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso have called upon race stewards to be stricter with their enforcing of rules during racing both to ensure safety in racing situations and to discourage riders from overstepping track limits.
The two most experienced riders on the grid were speaking ahead of the Styrian MotoGP, which comes just days after a major incident involving Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli at the same Red Bull Ring.
Since then stewards have come in for criticism for waiting until today [Thursday] to speak with both Zarco and Morbidelli for their part in the accident, which very nearly resulted in a catastrophic collision with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales further up the road.
Though both are respectful of the difficult task stewards have in pleasing everyone in situations that inevitably have contrary opinions, Rossi says it is crucial for them to remain impartial and not bow to pressure around them.
“It is a very difficult job to be a steward because it is always delicate but I think they need to speak with riders directly after the race, it is difficult to understand why they waited a week [with Zarco and Morbidelli]
“They have a lot of work because already from Moto3 the situation is already dangerous, a little bit out of control. Also, Moto3/2 we saw a lot of contact in the straights, we see riders go straight to the other riders too, this is very dangerous.
“At the end, they need to take the decision without pressure from the outside or from other teams, they have to speak mainly about the safety of the riders, that’s the most important thing and be strict.”
Dovizioso, meanwhile, says more needs to be done to enforce track limits violations saying the increased use of asphalt run off should be for safety purposes only and not encourage riders to overstep limits without punishment.
“I think that job is very difficult and every time on the Safety Commission or every time you have two teams talking about something, they are always opposite opinions. I think it is a difficult situation to manage with the riders but for sure we have to try to do better. Normally, we try to give our feedback to be better but it’s very difficult.
“I think one point where, in my opinion, we can better is in the way the penalty out of the track [track limits] because it is very difficult to manage. They are doing a great job because they have to check every time, every exit if a rider is in or out, but the safety of the tracks improve a lot, now there is a lot of asphalt and this is better.
“I think everybody is pushing harder because you can go out of the track and I think the penalty is too soft, I think everybody is braking so hard and they are over the limit because they know there is asphalt.
“I think in the future the penalty needs to be higher, so you don’t go out of the track, it should be just for safety.”