What we should be talking about tonight is the return of MotoGP to the place that houses its soul, and the explosion of passion and racing that emerged from the Circuito de Jerez. But despite a tense race with a scintillating last lap that played out in front of the largest crowd to pack the Jerez track for perhaps a decade, the main topic of conversation is the level of stewarding. MotoGP at Jerez looked like the pinnacle of motorcycle, surrounded by adoring fans, and overseen by a bunch of amateurs.
The circuit was a cauldron of emotion from the crack of dawn. I walked down to Turn 10 to watch the warm up, to get a sense of who had drive out of that crucial corner, but to be honest I was captivated by the crowds. There was an intensity that has been rare in MotoGP since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, only seen at Le Mans, the Sachsenring, Assen. It felt like the old days.
Officially, there were some 79,000 fans at the track, but since the mayor of Jerez accidentally announced an attendance figure that was half of the previous year – despite the track being just as busy – Jerez crowd numbers exist only in a separate universe, with an entirely different and deeply incomprehensible counting system. I don't know how many fans there really were at Jerez, but it felt like an awful lot. The grandstands and hillsides were packed. It was glorious.
I stayed out trackside with On Track Off Road's and fellow Paddock Pass Podcaster Adam Wheeler after the warm up, waiting for the appearance of the trailer bearing the riders. Viewed from TV, it has always looked awkward, but at Jerez, everything slotted into place. This was meant as a way to improve rider interaction with the fans, and boy did it work in Spain. The roars from the crowd were deafening when the trailer stopped in front of the fans, the riders whipping the fans up into an even greater frenzy.
Loudest cheer of all – both during warm up and after, on the fan trailer – was for Dani Pedrosa. The Little Samurai has lodged himself firmly in the hearts of the Spanish fans, and in a previous reversal of his racetrack character, he lapped it all up.
"It's true, I was really enjoying that lap," Pedrosa said. "And at one point, we stopped there and they interviewed me a little, and I was about to cry! In that moment, I got emotional. And not, only because of the crowd, which was full, packed and everyone was cheering my name. But also, the riders, I was so surprised. They were so cool and they jumped in the party and cheered for me also! So it was great." Jack Miller hoisted Pedrosa onto his shoulders, a celebration of two racing legends: Dani Pedrosa, and the Circuito de Jerez.
We will skip over the first start and the red flag for the moment, to concentrate on the last few thrilling laps. Brad Binder looked like he had broken the field, especially once the FIM Stewards made Pecco Bagnaia give up a position for a botched attempt to pass Jack Miller at Turn 6, making the KTM rider sit up to avoid being hit. But lap by lap the Ducati rider inched closer, and once he got past Binder, the South African could never quite get close enough to launch a counterattack.
It was quite the turnaround for the reigning world champion. On Friday, Bagnaia looked totally lost, and a long way from being competitive. But on Friday night, his team took all the data from the other Ducati teams, and figured out how to give Bagnaia back the front-end confidence he needed to exploit the corner speed of the Ducati. (Now there is a phrase that long-time followers of the sport will never have expected to hear.
Cristian Gabarrini and the rest of Bagnaia's Ducati crew had fixed the bike sufficiently for the Italian to get on the podium in the sprint race. On Sunday the bike was even better, good enough to bide his time, hammer in a 1'37.989 to catch Binder, then pass him for the lead, and then establish control of the race from the front.
It was, Paolo Ciabatti told me, a champion's race, exactly what was needed after crashing out of the last two Sunday grand prix races in Argentina and Austin. Those crashes were certainly running through Ciabatti's mind as the race drew to a close. Fortunately for the Ducati Sporting Director, Bagnaia had no doubts about himself.
The Red Bull KTM Team had not made it easy for Bagnaia. Binder had put up a tough fight for the lead, while before that, Jack Miller had caused the Italian problems. It made for some spectacular scenes, and made us all forget for a while that it is getting harder and harder for riders to overtake in the premier class.
The battle between Bagnaia on the one hand and Binder and Miller on the other was down in no small part to the differences between the bikes. Asked to summarize the strengths of the Ducati Desmosedici GP23 and the KTM RC16, Bagnaia sketched out their different characters. "I will say in KTM, traction and braking," the Italian said. "Ducati, corner speed and stability."
The competitiveness of the KTM had impressed Aleix Espargaro, who had watched the battle from afar. "The first thing I want to say is congratulations to KTM, the job they did is amazing," the Aprilia rider said. "The riders, Jack, Brad and the whole team it’s crazy what they're doing. But my feeling is that my bike is better than them."
The Aprilia RS-GP maybe better in theory, but it has been built to lay down a fast lap. The KTM, on the other hand, had been built to indulge in the argy-bargy of racing, Espargaro believed. "This is why I'm even more frustrated because their bike allowed them to be really aggressive on the race and the job they are doing is crazy," the Spaniard said. "They understand better the concept of the tire, the way of racing of 2023 and they are better than us, but once again, it's about to understand all of this. My bike is really good when I'm alone but, it's not about this."
KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa disavowed any responsibility for creating that, deflecting the praise directly onto the shoulders of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team riders Brad Binder and Jack Miller. "It's something Brad and Jack and their team did, that they developed some sort of feeling and setting that allows them to fight. Because they are every weekend doing that."
As a test rider, doing a lot of laps on a nearly empty track, it was impossible to simulate being caught in an on-track battle, Pedrosa explained. "I cannot set up the bike for overtakes, I can just set up the bike for good braking, good turning, good corner speed and so on. But I cannot simulate any racing moments. But yeah, I couldn't watch the race yet, but from what we saw yesterday, they look really nice and aggressive and they control the bike and that's something very important."
And so to the real topic of the day from Jerez: the second race red-flagged because of a serious crash at Turn 2, and the wildly inconsistent stewarding which emerged from that. While there were a few dissenting voices over whether Pecco Bagnaia's move on Brad Binder deserved a penalty, there was absolute unanimity on the topic of the FIM Stewards Panel's decisions seeming completely inconsistent, verging on the random. And a growing sense that things could not continue like this.
First, the crash. I watched and rewatched the crash several times together with Peter Bom, and his opinion evolved as we saw the move multiple times from multiple angles. What happened was that Fabio Quartararo was just behind Miguel Oliveira and Marco Bezzecchi coming ut of Turn 1. As they started braking for Turn 2, Bezzecchi, on the inside, tried to take a wider line, braking too late drifting left to move toward the outside of the track. On the outside, Oliveira ran a good clean line from near the kerb and was turning in to make the corner, coming from the left toward the right. In the middle, and left with nowhere to go, was Fabio Quartararo, and once the gap narrowed too much, the bike of Bezzecchi clipped Quartararo's Yamaha, and a crash unfolded.
Unfortunately for Miguel Oliveira, it was he who came off worse in the collision. The RNF Aprilia rider suffered a dislocated shoulder, and it was only back at the medical center that they managed to put the humerus back into the joint. He later went to hospital to have further scans.
"It was just, Bezzecchi was in front. I was in the middle. And you know, I had no other solution than to do that," Fabio Quartararo explained. "I mean, I could not escape this crash because, I just tried to brake and stop but I hit – I don’t know who first – but then the bike of Miguel took my clutch and I hit the bike of Bezzecchi. But I had no other solution than to do that. So I mean the crash was 100% sure."
Bezzecchi had know very little about the crash, knowing only that he had touched someone going into Turn 2. But Bezzecchi was also the butt of rumor and suggestion, as riders also viewed the Mooney VR46 as part of the problem.
"Honestly, I was there behind, and I said to the guys, the way of riding of Bezzecchi today, for me it was a bit out of control," Joan Mir said. The Repsol Honda rider had had a front seat for the entire crash, as it had unfolded in front of him. "Even on the second race. He touched with everybody. We were all, the riders behind them, worried to expect what he was going to do. All of them, trying to avoid an impact. Pieces of carbon everywhere, and just touches and a disaster."
The problem, Mir believed, is that the Stewards were only focused on the action at the front, ignoring issues further down the filed. "I said this in the Safety Commission, but sometimes it looks like the stewards only watch the guys where the camera is pointing. Then the rest doesn't matter. The penalties there don't exist. So this is something that improve a lot."
Mir was genuinely shocked when he heard that Fabio Quartararo had been given a penalty for the crash with Oliveira and Bezzecchi. "What I see there, is that the corner was going right, Bezzecchi was going left to open the line. If you open the line in the first lap, you know that you will have other riders there. So for me, Fabio doesn't have any fault. The same fault as Oliveira. Fabio was a consequence of the maneuver of another rider. But it looks like, well, this year I had a couple of penalties that were not right, and I'm not the perfect person to ask these type of things. But being realistic and everything, Fabio doesn't deserve a penalty."
The penalty for Quartararo was just one of a number of straws that broke the camel's back when it comes to stewarding. Pecco Bagnaia was forced to drop a position when he made a move on Jack Miller, and the Australian was forced to sit his KTM up. For Jorge Martin, who had been pushed wide by Jack Miller at Turn 1 a few laps previously, it was incomprehensible that Bagnaia be forced to drop a position where Miller hadn't.
"Race Direction - if they penalize Pecco, they should penalize Jack," the Pramac Ducati rider told us after the race. "And if they didn’t penalize Jack? Then they don't have to penalize Pecco." That decision angered Ducati as well, but almost every rider mentioned that as a pointing to a lack of consistency in the Stewards' decision-making process.
The worst thing was that the Stewards never offered any accountability for their decisions to the riders or to the teams. When riders are called in front of the FIM Stewards Panel, the Stewards listen to their explanations (or excuses), and hand down penalties. They do not explain why they felt a particular move was beyond the pale, they just tell the riders they have broken the rules and they will be penalized. The appeals process follows a similar path.
Perhaps to abate that anger, the Stewards are to attend the riders Safety Commission on Friday at Le Mans, to lay out the principles they use to judge whether a particular action has broken the rules. "We are in a transition moment, in my opinion," Luca Marini said. "I heard that in Le Mans, that in the Safety Commission we will speak also with the stewards. This will be interesting, because every rider wants to have clear the situation. So for me the problem is not whether something is a penalty or not, it's just the line that they have to follow. If a rider makes this action, this will be the penalty. And this needs to be the same every time."
That feeling was almost universally shared among the riders, and far beyond. The inconsistency in handing out penalties was not yet preventing riders from attempting a pass, but it was affecting their expectations, Joan Mir said. "We are riders, we will make the move. But then you are afraid, because you say, maybe I will get a penalty or maybe not. So today will maybe be the day where we do, or the day we don't. When I make a risky maneuver, I think of that," the Repsol Honda rider told us.
Wandering through the paddock on Sunday night soliciting opinions, there is a broad feeling that the position of the current slate of stewards is untenable. At every level, from riders to team members to senior figures, there is a simmering anger at the utter lack of consistency of the FIM Stewards, and the refusal to show any kind of accountability for their decisions. The FIM Stewards Panel is a black box, like ancient Greek gods handing down punishments from the lofty heights of Mt Olympus.
I share that anger. Policing motorcycle racing is one of the hardest jobs in the world. On the one hand, racing motorcycles is difficult and dangerous enough, and you do not want bad and dangerous behavior to be rewarded, by allowing risky moves that could end up injuring other riders. But on the other hand, in a sport where everything is so close, you cannot stifle any attempt to pass by taking an overly cautious approach to risk.
Even so, what makes the current situation worse is the apparent refusal of the Stewards to pick a lane. Some actions they let go or ignore, despite them looking extremely dangerous from the outside, and sometimes causing another rider harm. Yet they come down on other actions like a ton of bricks, even though at times those actions look relatively innocuous, or are obviously and clearly an unavoidable result of bikes all trying to claim the same piece of asphalt.
There is an argument to be made that MotoGP riders should be policed a little more leniently. These are the most gifted and experienced riders in the world. They know what they are doing, and they understand the risks involved. Their bikes have a flexibility that other classes do not have.
Moto3 and Moto2 are on horsepower-restricted machines, and the Moto3 bikes are very light and can be put into almost any space. Moto3 riders are almost all very young, and with no experience at the highest level of racing. It makes sense to clamp down heavily on physical riding in Moto3, to train the youngsters to think about what they are doing. But it makes no sense to try to rein in riders who have been in the grand prix paddock for a decade or more, and have an intimate understanding of what is possible and what is not.
It would be nice to let the MotoGP riders race. That, after all, is what they are here to do.
Finally, we had two red flags in two race starts at Jerez. Why is that? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
First and foremost, the start of the race is the most dangerous part. 22 MotoGP bikes have to launch off the line, and thread their way through a very narrow line. That is particularly difficult at Jerez, where the wide entry to Turn 1 narrows down as it approaches Turn 2.
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A much longer part of this…
A much longer part of this Subscriber Notes article has been made available to all readers. It's important for everyone to know what the feeling is in the paddock about the FIM Stewards. The section explaining why there are so many crashes at the start of races, and how we have got here, is exclusively for subscribers.
New Michelin tire
Quick question to you all - my memory fails me on this one. When MotoGP switched from Bridgestone to Michelin, how much testing was involved in the year(s) directly preceding that switch? As in, one or multiple years multiple dedicated tire tests on Michelin?
It has been bugging me because of the long wait for the new Michelin front… if it was long then, I can accept the current delays. However, if the switch from B to M was not that long…?
In reply to New Michelin tire by ivanhoe
If memory serves,…
If memory serves, Bridgestone announced they would be pulling out at Jerez in 2014. They wanted to leave at the end of the year, but Dorna persuaded them to stay until 2015. The timescale was out of Michelin's hands. They did a lot of private testing, and I think the teams had maybe 4 tests with the Michelins before the 2016 season, spread throughout 2014 and 2015.
In reply to If memory serves,… by David Emmett
If air volume is the root of the problem, why not wheels with spokes that have a hollow from the rim down to just above the hub?
In reply to Air volume by RichDesmond
Brilliant, Why not make a wheel that has a huge empty volume to fill with air. You may have just cracked the code!
In reply to brilliant by gdesjard
Had the same idea. Then…
Had the same idea. Then searched how Marchesini manufactures magnesium wheels. Intensive process it seems.
Michelin timeline is a joke
Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturers in world. Supposedly at the cutting edge. Yet they can’t in 5+ years develop a new front tire? Aprilia built an entirely new mgp bike (intro’d last year) in one! Guess Michelin works on the Honda/Yamaha timescale. Wait til things completely fall apart. Then maybe think about possibly doing something about it, but only using same old tired ideas.
In reply to Michelin timeline is a joke by slfish
I think the problem is…
I think the problem is getting the teams to agree.
In reply to I think the problem is… by WaveyD1974
Michelin can build a tire…
Michelin can build a tire very quickly. But it needs to be tested at lots of tracks in different conditions, and the teams won't do the testing.
In reply to Michelin can build a tire… by David Emmett
Disagree. Michelin they don't want to pay to develop new tire.
No offense Dave, but that's an excuse. Michelin is a $20B company. If an F1 team with a fraction of Michelins's market cap can design, build, and test (also with limited test days) in some cases an entirely new car every year, Michelin can quite easily invest to test some donuts. Michelin's approach is to do it on the cheap. Wait til team's complain enough that they'll foot the bill, costing Michelin nothing, but giving them all the marketing and glory when then new tire finally (if ever) debuts. If they were serious about developing the new tire they could pay teams to test or buy some last years bikes, hire riders, and form their own test team. Limited test days should not be an issue. Dorna could schedule any number of tests with test riders, limiting them to tires only, no development parts. Covid was an ideal time to do this because tracks were empty and teams had loads of time on their hands. To date, total failure on Michelin's part.
In reply to Disagree. Michelin they don't want to pay to develop new tire. by slfish
Michelin can run a test team…
Michelin can run a test team and develop a new front tyre no doubt. Which bike should they use ? The bike must be capable of putting the front tyre through the same trauma that a current MotoGP bike does. Couldn't be developed and tested around one manufacturer only. The manufacturers throw a lot of time and money developing their bikes. The speed of development over the last few years has been mad. A lot of effort to get to the point they are now. A small drop in performance, a few tenths and they go from the front row to the 3rd or 4th row. The only way the manufacturers will agree to use any new tyre is when they all agree. Why would Ducati want a new tyre ? At the other end, why would Honda want a new tyre, they have enough troubles already and those troubles need fixing in a very limited number of tests. Why would they waste a chance to test by testing a tyre they are not using and may never use ? Michelin could develop and produce the new front, they have already but nobody will try it. They then have to continue developing the tyre to meet the ever increasing demands of the bikes. Nobody will try it. They could test it themselves and it would make no difference.
In reply to Michelin can run a test team… by WaveyD1974
so stop with the we're developing a new tire talk...
when that clearly isn't happening. if in three years no one's willing to test a new front, the message from the paddock is pretty clear: no one cares.
In reply to so stop with the we're developing a new tire talk... by slfish
Ahhh but they may start…
Ahhh but they may start caring very much very soon. I don't think the front tyre pressure rules will take effect this season because it will result in half the field failing. So, what's the solution ? Attempts to stay within the limits make front tyre issues in traffic more and more common. What's the way forward ?
In reply to Ahhh but they may start… by WaveyD1974
Michelin provide the tyres…
Michelin provide the tyres for the tests, so only provide the proposed new tyre.
If the manufacturers throw a tantrum and say "we won't test them as there's no benefit" then set a date for the new tyre.
Arrange more tests if necessary.
Do something rather than nothing.
In reply to Michelin provide the tyres… by MrPotatoHead
agree 100% arrange tests the…
arrange tests the day after a GP and only the "new to be tested tires" are allowed. they all will test them, because if one factory doesn't, it can not help to develop in a direction that suits them, giving an advantage to the factories that do test them.
In reply to Michelin timeline is a joke by slfish
I have experience with Michelin tires going back to the early 70s. Everything from bicycle to motorcycle to car, light truck, tractor trailer. In the early 80s Michelin gave our company hundreds of tires to test for them on trucks and sent an engineer from France with them. I can honestly say they make shit tires compared to Pirelli, Dunlop, Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Sumitomo and probably forgetting some. Never had good luck with Michelin on anything. I stopped buying them completely in the 80s. That's my experience and the reason I'm not surprised they can't handle supplying Motogp. They talk a good game, though.
If Bagnaia gets a "drop back…
If Bagnaia gets a "drop back one place" penalty for overtaking Miller too agressively (in the eyes of the GP stewards), why hasn't Marguez been penalised in just about every race in the past, for his barging overtakes?
In reply to If Bagnaia gets a "drop back… by pouchy750
In reply to If Bagnaia gets a "drop back… by pouchy750
That one made me laugh.
In reply to If Bagnaia gets a "drop back… by pouchy750
That's the problem. Every…
That's the problem. Every possible scenario leading to a penalty because cumulatively everybody has done everything if we look back far enough. No penalty given in a season can fix an injustice of the past. They wont change the history books.
Proving yet again that the cost of my subscription is well worth every penny and then some - Thanks again David
I subscribe to BT sport (UK)…
I subscribe to BT sport (UK) and their three main pundits are Hodgson, Guintoli & Laverty and they were scathing about the stewards. All have ridden GP's and two have WSB titles. So you have to assume there aren't any former riders within the stewarding group? I know there was a lot of grief regarding Spencer (don't think hes involved anymore) but they need a strong character ex rider in there.
In reply to I subscribe to BT sport (UK)… by Jarnosar
Fat Freddie ...
... is still there.
Wheel of morality, turn turn turn...
I get that the riders are busy, and that they're paid to ride, but can they not be invovled in the decisisons?
So we have an incident, like Pecco's firm pass on Miller, and the riders vote after the race if it deserves a penalty. If it does, then Pecco has to pass and drop back, or take a long lap in the next race.
So the riders get to ride, but they know their piers will hold them accountable?
How would this be any worse than the current system, where some old fool just gives the wheel of morality a spin to see if something needs a penalty?
In reply to Wheel of morality, turn turn turn... by nickridiculous
Because they would settle…
Because they would settle old scores, screw each other for advantage and groups would vote as one.
Doesn't "my Aprilia is a better bike than the KTMs" mean "the only thing holding it back is me."
So the fix is to go back to a 16 and a half front? All I know is I've been disappointed in Michelin since they took over from Bridgestone.
Coincidentally I haven't bought Michelin tires since.
In reply to Tires by Rick92040
The fix is not to go back to…
The fix is not to go back to 16.5 inch tyres. The fix is to get rid of tyres all together: put the riders on jet skis. They can race around really big lakes. With all the aero crap, the bikes already look like jet skis.
The solution for the front tire seems obvious.
Sprints have doubled the danger by doubling the race starts.
Michelin has a fix for the front tire, but can't test it due to lack of test days.
Sooo.... why not bring up more test days, and monetize them by adding a sprint race to them. Personally I would love to go back to the ~15 race per year format, with 4-5 test weekends and sprint races at them. Plus with all that testing time the grid can catch up on all the technical odds and ends.
As is the sport is in a technical straight jacket. The action is great- riders keep talking about a lack of passing, yet riders are dicing it up in every race- but the front tire needs to catch up. And yea the stewarding is a whole other kettle of fish.
Who's in charge here?
This is all fixable. Dorna didn't ask the riders or teams to decide on Sprints, did they? Mandatory tire tests. Tires only. Then either Michelin steps up or you call Pirelli or Dunlop in, or Bridgestone back in. Or Maxxis.
In reply to Who's in charge here? by Chuckracer
I agree. There are times…
I agree. There are times when mom and dad stop asking for input and just tell the kids to get to it or else. Seems like we're getting close.
As with other technical…
As with other technical elements of the rules, would the teams or the manufacturer's associations have to approve a major change in front tire? I would expect that some manufacturers would not love the idea of a new tire throwing out a lot of the current development work.
As well, could they introduce a new tire by adding it to the choices available to the teams at a race weekend. Not all riders will choose it over the existing option, but over time enough will to generate a pool of data.
In reply to As with other technical… by johnmh
No rider would try a tyre…
No rider would try a tyre they cannot use in the race but a good idea because it's different. The problem is how to motivate teams to test a tyre that has no value to them on the weekend. If they had to bring their test riders to a weekendi it costs money and the rider would serve the team better trying the tyres which the race riders will use in the race.
Finding it hard to accept the way this is all going.
The situation with the FIM Stewards is disastrous - not only bad in the short term but creates real dissonance with the firmest of fans. And that's a threat to the long term future of the sport. That Pecco pass has been standard fare in GP for decades. To change up the apparently unwritten rules on that move was gobsmackingly inappropriate.
However as a multitude have noted, to demand no risk taking overtakes when the technical regulations have made overtake really difficult, is double down of dick-headery.
But wait, it gets better: we have David's reporting from earlier in the weekend that part of the aero strategy now is to make dirty air for the bike following. so now it finds it harder to even get close to the bike is it trying to overtake. That's truly evidence of a sport that is losing its way.
WOKE comes to MGP
I was out of town and watched the race last night. The penalty's handed out by that 'monkey' panel were.....I guess they were throwing darts at a board, and then, wherever the darts landed, penalty/no penalty, they went with it. Pecco's and Fabio's penalty's, it appears, come directly from the WOKE culture...NO PASSING ALLOWED it might hurt the other riders feelings! If this continues, Dorna might have a problem with viewership...at least from my perspective. BTW....I was really rooting for Binder to win....
In reply to WOKE comes to MGP by 3B43
Given that the definition of…
Given that the definition of "woke" is aware of and opposed to systemic injustices, I would say that the penalties imposed are the opposite of woke. The Stewards imposed penalties arbitrarily and disproportionately, a parody of justice.
What the riders (and everyone else) wants is for penalties to be handed out consistently and fairly, without favor. What they want - a fair and just penalty system - is pretty woke.
Yours, the proudly woke editor of wokomatters dot com
In reply to Given that the definition of… by David Emmett
DE, Please incorporate a…
Please incorporate a like function to comments because this comment is ❤️❤️
In reply to Given that the definition of… by David Emmett
That was ...
... frickin' hilarious.
I was being a....
...a smarta**, obviously with the WOKE comparo. The Stewards decisions were almost as if they had never watched a race before. I'm sure everyone watching was wondering what the hell Pecco was doing when he pulled over so fast, looking over his shoulder. Both penalty's, when the TV crew informed us of them, I assumed something had happened that we did NOT see. It's ludicrous, that the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, as morons in these positions....and I'm being diplomatic.
In reply to I was being a.... by 3B43
There was a genuine wave of…
There was a genuine wave of shock ran through the press room when Fabio got the penalty. Real WTF moment. Like I said in the piece, there was genuine anger at all levels of the paddock. Feels like a revolt is brewing.
And on top of all of the…
And on top of all of the above discussion I’d like to add that the new theme music is awful to my ears but would surely appeal to the likes of Vader, Mussolini and of course Generalissimo Franco.
In reply to And on top of all of the… by patglr
If something or someone is…
If something or someone is in the way and blocking progress they should give them a period of notice and then impose the solution. Why not simply require the tyre supplier to develop a tyre and require all teams to use it? Collaboration is great until it achieves the opposite of what is intended. Bikes have evolved rapidly. The tyre supplier needs to keep up. Better to go back to bring your own tyres than this messy swamp of inaction.
As for those stewards, it needs a clear out and some recently retired racers brought in. McWilliams would be a good start alongside Spies. The bucks would be worth it. With all those cameras and marshals how can bad riding not be spotted? Better post-race penalties than live screw ups. The front pack needs some live intervention to avoid unfair results in theory, but heavy post race punishment would soon teach better behaviour and by also demoting from the results by a simple 10 sec penalty rash riders ( who are not really a problem in MGP) would soon wise up or lose their ride.
In reply to If something or someone is… by motomann
More racers in officiating? No thanks.
I'm not sure that adding more ex-racers to the officiating will solve the problem. The issue with ex-racers (using Freddie Spencer as an example), is that they're too subjective. Race officiating needs to be objective. I believe that the issue with Spencer is that he tries too hard to discern intent, which is not only impossible (he's not clairvoyant), and it's completely subjective (which is why this racer here gets penalized, but that racer over there doesn't).
And Ben's Pies? Good grief no. Then we'd have Mary Spies cackling around the paddock again, and that's a sight no one wants.
The sport needs professional officials, not former racers who can't separate their own red mist from their objective jobs.
I've said it for the last two years...
The problem with the FIM Stewards (and Race Direction as well) is that they operate behind closed doors, without explanation, and without accountability. "Black box" indeed, and there's no scenario in human history where absolute authority with zero accountability has EVER worked well for humanity.
I've proposed for the last two seasons that what is needed is for the full Stewards panel AND Race Direction to have a press conference after EVERY race, and be forced to give explanations for why they did enforce this or didn't enforce that. The only solution to our current officiating problem is to bring it out from behind the closed doors and into public view.
I'm not saying to let the mob rule, I'm saying that the people who hand down the penalties need to be required to explain themselves publicly, on the record, and with full transparency.
As for the tire issues and other related problems, I think that a good middle-step solution would be to ban front and rear ride height devices. There's no genuine technology transfer to production machinery, and it would eliminate a good amount of excess weight from all the "old school" mechanical/hydraulic setups that teams have to run now. If you wanted to give manufacturers a consolation prize for the loss of ride height, then simply start allowing electronically controlled suspension (sans active ride height adjustment). The technology exists on street bikes now, so why are prototype machines not allowed to use it? Let the manufacturers use something that's actually a technology transfer to production machinery. Banning electronic suspension is an idea that needed to be abolished 10 years ago.
In reply to I've said it for the last two years... by Buddykitchen
Technical options for speed reduction
I would even think that electronic suspension including ride height adjustment would be acceptable; as you mentioned, that actually is transferable to street bikes and can be a safety feature. At least the influence of this technology on other riders is limited. I am more concerned, both as a street rider and for the future of MotoGP on the aero developments. Since the environmental aerodynamic conditions in real life can be very disruptive, I do not see a large future for aerodynamic devices such as wings on street bikes. And considering they are using aero to disrupt air flow behind the bikes, so followers will be slower, this has detrimental effects in racing as well. Banning aero is impossible, but I think Dorna should find creative ways of limiting it.
As for the speed increase that ride height devices bring (also when electronic suspension would be allowed) I think we should look elsewhere. 81mm bore, 3 cylinders was suggested here earlier. That might be an option. Or even smaller bores? Both options could include a reduction in fuel limits. A return to steel disks (I have yet to see carbon carbon brakes on street bikes), radiator size reduction, just some crazy ideas....
The solution to tire air volume seems pretty straightforward
Design a rim with a deeper center section that offsets the loss of air volume from 16.5" wheels.
It's like I have to do all the thinking sometimes...
In reply to The solution to tire air volume seems pretty straightforward by Buddykitchen
I also thought about this,…
I also thought about this, so there is no way the teams haven’t! So maybe just adding volume isn’t the golden ticket. David???
In reply to The solution to tire air volume seems pretty straightforward by Buddykitchen
Interesting stuff here
Oxley talks about tire pressures at the end of this article ...
Did you enjoy the race?
What? Oh, yeah, me too. Fantastic. But it would have been better with 16.5" wheels.
I hope you get my point. Dorna does.
Also, is the number of passes per lap the only gauge of a good race? Stalking doesn't count? If overtaking is tough that doesn't always indicate how interesting or exciting the race is.
Just saying that as a fan Jerez was very entertaining.