After meeting last December in Madrid, Spain, the Grand Prix Commission issued a sheaf of new rules and procedures that will become active in 2013-2015. The four-person commission consists of representatives from the FIM, Dorna, IRTA and MSMA.
Three basic areas were addressed:
1) a penalty points system for dealing with “unsportsmanlike” riding;
2) implementation of an on-dash flagging/rider-information system; and
3) cost control or reduction.
The penalty points system is intended to discourage rough riding by spelling out the “wages of sin,” which are as follows:
• 4 points: rider starts the next race at the back of the grid
• 7 points: rider starts the next race from pit lane
• 10 points: rider is disqualified from the next race
Obvious inspiration for this is Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez’s recent and well-publicized knock-down of Simone Corti last fall in practice at Valencia, Spain. The new system urges riders to consider actions against consequences—just as parents urge their small children to do.
Everyone has been expecting an on-dash flagging system since it became technically feasible. This will be optional in 2013 (for those whose systems already support it) and mandatory in 2014.
Other regulations will set a procedure by which to “freeze” homologated engines in MotoGP (aim being to prevent technological advance during the racing season), price ceilings in 2015 for suspension and brake components (and their service contracts) and, to be announced at the season-opener in Qatar, maximum prices for Moto3 bikes and Moto2 chassis and major components. Some chassis are currently priced at or above 100,000 euros—roughly $8000 per pound.
Carbon-fiber wheels will be eliminated, and from 2015, only homologated wheels will be permitted. Moto3 engines are to be randomly distributed to teams by the series organizers and will not be rebuilt. Beginning in 2014, Moto2 bikes must use updated oxygen sensors. Is this intended to prevent one or more of the many software “foxing” techniques?
In the end, what do we know or suspect? In Formula 1, the teams employ lawyers to work out all possible interpretations of the wording and their technical people use these to devise the necessary countermeasures. Engineers must first overcome the latest “social problems” (rules) and only then can they tackle going fast enough to win.