MotoGP is to join F1 in having trackside Light Panels - used to display crucial safety information such yellow or red flags, plus the arrival of rain - at all its circuits from 2022.

The light panels, operated by race control or trackside marshals, will be mandatory for any circuit needing to pass FIA Grade 1 and FIM Grade A requirements and are designed to help address the problem of competitors sometimes struggling to see waved flags positioned at marshal posts.

Each of the FIM circuits on the MotoGP, World Superbike, and Endurance calendars now have just over one year to install 'T1' or 'T2' spec homologated light panels (FIA Grade 1 requires T1-spec).

These panels undergo rigorous testing by the Federal Institute of Metrology laboratory in Switzerland, where they are examined under a number of conditions including rain and direct sunlight.

British company EM Motorsport is currently the only manufacturer to have passed the FIA tests for T1 and T2 light panels, but several other manufacturers are currently in the process of homologating their products.

The joint Light Panels agreement follows the introduction of a joint FIM/FIA circuit paint standard earlier this year.

“The FIM and FIA share a strong bond in terms of safety and this further strengthens that cooperation," said FIM Circuit Racing Commission Director, Franck Vayssié.

"Making these light panels mandatory at FIM circuits that host MotoGP, Superbike and Endurance World Championships will help to ensure the highest levels of safety for all series that race on these top-level tracks.”

Currently in F1, the championship promoter is responsible for transporting the top-level panels to each race but then removes them for the next one, meaning that other events on those circuits do not have access to the technology.

The new requirement will mean every championship competing on FIA Grade 1 or FIM Grade A circuits will have access to the Light Panel technology.

The visibility of yellow flags has been a growing issue in MotoGP this season, after a clampdown on riders setting fast laps in practice and qualifying while passing through yellow flags.

A lap time is now automatically cancelled if a rider passes a yellow, but riders have complained they are sometimes unaware the flag has been shown, and therefore that they would be losing their lap time, until after the session has finished.

 

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