MotoGP will soon have another high-profile American rider in its paddock. Beginning next season, three-time world champion Freddie Spencer will join Bill Cumbow and a third appointee selected from a rotating pool—Patrick Coutant, Peter Goddard, and Stuart Higgs, among others—on the FIM MotoGP stewards panel as its chairman, a role previously held by race director Mike Webb.

The 56-year-old Spencer said one of the key factors in deciding to accept this position is his belief it is an opportunity to be a “positive influence and a constructive resolving voice in issues that will arise—a voice that can impact the reputation of our sport both within it and in the outside world.”

The FIM stewards panel—along with race direction, the FIM appeal stewards, and the MotoGP court of appeal—is responsible for disciplinary decisions, including rider penalties and the resolution of protests. Spencer’s new responsibilities will presumably not extend beyond Grand Prix racing.

Freddie Spencer
Freddie Spencer has accepted the position of chairman on the FIM MotoGP stewards panel. “The integrity and reputation of the sport has to come first,” said Spencer, a 27-time Grand Prix race winner. “Our sport has reached the heights it has because of the incredible effort everyone has put in to make it such a success.”Courtesy of Dorna

“I have spent the majority of my lifetime developing the skills required for this position,” Spencer said. “I know it is imperative to have the trust and respect of—and the ability to communicate with—the riders, teams, media, and hopefully fans too. Complete objectivity is absolutely essential to protect impartiality and to cultivate trust and respect in our decisions.”

Spencer made his GP racing debut in 1980 in the Belgian Grand Prix. The Louisiana native won the 500cc world title at age 21 in 1983 and two years later the 250cc and 500cc titles, a feat not since duplicated. Spencer is expected to attend the traditional end-of-season Valencia Grand Prix at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain.