Race Direction To Review Marshals' Handling Of Rossi/Stoner Jerez Crash

The incident between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi continues to generate controversy. Much of the debate has centered around the role of the marshals, with Stoner contending that the marshals helped Rossi first before attending to him. Footage only partially corroborates Stoner's story, but what is clear is that the marshals did not lend enough assistance to restart his Honda RC212V, the marshals dropping off one by one, until the Australian had only marshal pushing him along. This, Stoner claimed, was not good enough, and he felt that he was a victim of bias by the marshals, the corner workers helping Rossi on his way but not doing enough to get the Repsol Honda rider back in the race.

As a result of this complaint, Race Direction have decided to hold a review of the entire incident once they reach Estoril, the FIM announced today. Race Direction will hold a hearing into the incident at Estoril, where they will invite the Clerk of the Course and the Chief Marshal to explain the chain of events. Though the press release does not go into details of exactly what will be reviewed, given the people invited to attend, it is most likely to examine the actions of the corner workers helping both Rossi and Stoner during and after the crash. 

If complaints of a lack of assistance had come only from Stoner, then it is unlikely that any action would have been taken. However, Marco Simoncelli had a similar complaint, saying that the corner workers had not helped him get his bike started again after he crashed out while leading the race.

The blame, however, may not lay entirely with the marshals. Honda's trick gearbox and clutch mean that two pins are required to start the bike on the stand, and bumpstarting the machine is extremely difficult, if not quite impossible. The urge to save engine damage by switching the motor off, and then trying to coax the bike back into life - a dangerous proposition on a live racetrack - may have played a significant role in the inability of the marshals to restart both Stoner's and Simoncelli's machines.

There is also the question of what the role of the corner workers is beyond clearing potential dangers from around the track, and whether helping to restart stopped bikes is part of their remit. Then there's also the matter of the engine rules, as without the need to save a motor by using the cutout switch, to ensure that you make it to the end of the season on your quota of just 6 engines.

Whether these subjects will also be discussed is unknown. What is certain is that the outcome of the hearing will not change the result of the race. However, reviewing procedures and the actions of the marshals may help clarify exactly what did happen, and offer improvements for the future. That in itself is a good thing.

Here's the FIM press release:


Statement of the MotoGP Race Direction

Following the collision between Rossi and Stoner during the MotoGP race of the Spanish Grand Prix on 3 April in Jerez, the Race Direction has decided to organise a hearing with the Clerk of the Course and the Chief Marshal in order to review the incident and to hear the explanation of the officials in charge.

Due to the fact that the final decision of the Race Direction will not affect the result of the race, the hearing will be organised on Thursday 28 April in Estoril, Portugal.

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Comments

This will probably come back to bite them in a way they will regret.  In the heat of the moment, Stoner's frustration seems reasonable, but upon further review, he and Simoncelli would have been wise to keep it inside the tent.

A trackside video does indeed show some marshals trying to help Stoner, but the bike does not move at first.  After that, I believe they felt they were not supposed to be running that far down the racetrack.  Simoncelli's case is even more egregious, with corner workers spending far too long on the racing surface.

With two of the four HRC super-shifters down on the tarmac in the same race, and with the now public knowledge that these things can't safely be push-started, the role of corner workers is going to get thrown up in the air.

Are they supposed to know which bikes can be easily pushed and which ones can't?  Are they supposed to offer no help, whatsoever?  If Honda are dumb enough to claim unfair treatment, the other factories can rightly claim it is their own undoing.

Total votes: 140

People keep talking about how difficult Honda is to bump start but that is not relevant. The issue is that all marshals were busy admiring Rossi and no one came to Stoner's aid till he frantically waved them to help him. The issue for me is the lack of help regardless of whether the bike started or not. Just because Honda may supposedly be a bitch to bump start does not make it ok for the corner workers to not assist at all. Just ban all help restarting the bike from now on to avoid any further fall out. Corner works will help them get the bike up and maybe out of the sand trap but then it is up to the rider and manufacturer to figure out how to get it going again.

I dont think anything will come of it. In my opinion, Rossi should have been excluded from this race and given a pit lane start in the next gp. Racing is inherently dangerous and stupid manuovers when the track is super wet should not be condoned. We all want good racing but I dont want to see a top rider like Stoner get hurt and ruin his season because king Rossi wanted to be overly aggressive in already bad conditions. In my opinion this incident happened during racing but is not a racing incident, the stewarts in F1 would have immediately given a drive through for stupidity like this.

Total votes: 144

When have they ever stated that in a racing incident a rider would be given a ride through and then start the following race from pit lane? The track wasn't super wet, you can see wet patches in turn 1 on the overhead video. How many riders crashed at turn 1? That alone should tell you that the corner was tricky, there wasn't much warning for Rossi and Stoner as this happened in the early laps, everyone else had it happen further on in the race. How about a Bridgestone hard wet tire? That seems to be the biggest complaint from the riders. Because the track wasn't wetter (to keep the tire temp down) they were deteriorating at a really high rate.

"In my opinion this incident happened during racing but is not a racing incident" You said it yourself, your opinion, and the riders involved have said it WAS a racing incident. Should we bring up the crashers that have caused accidents like this in the past? Pedrosa on Hayden that put a big question mark on the championship. Stoner on Gibernau that caused Gibernau further injuries necessitating his retirement. While these types of accidents are not enjoyable, they happen. Racing is racing and the championship must go on. For everyone that thinks this is going to really mess up Stoner's shot at the title... Usually you could say every rider has at least one DNF, etc. Look over the seasons of the past. The only exception would be last year as Lorenzo rode a very solid season.

Total votes: 131

I can't see anything comming out of a review of the marshalls actions.
Their job should clearly begin and end with safety. Assisting a fallen rider from the track,removing debris,flag waving etc.That is their job description on race day. They should not be allowed to assist any fallen rider to get going again.
If the rider can't get on his way under his own steam in a prompt and safe manner,the marshalls should remove him and his machine out of harms way expeditiously.
In the event that one competitor clearly was at fault for causing another to crash out,whether intentionally or not,the one that caused the crash,whether he went down in the incident or not, should be withdrawn from further participation in the race, ie : black flagged.
The FIM need to reign in the over exuberance of certain riders. I won't name them,we all know who they have been over many,many years of incidents.
Racecraft is a craft,rather than a 'shut my eyes and go for glory' competition like 20/20 cricket.In all fairness,it is not as though the Cluzel/Marquez or Rossi/Stoner incidents happen in every other race,but I do believe it can do no harm to make riders painfully aware of the consequences of ill judged actions without resorting to a roundup of volunteer marshalls.
Really,Rossi gains a bunch of WC points whilst taking Stoner out. The penalty is that Stoner loses his Championship lead and gets lambasted in the media for having a sting in his tongue.
A simple rule governing this type of incident will go a long way in the direction of keeping the desperadoes of the track in check.
I've seen this thing all the way from Roberts/Spencer in 1983,to Rossi/Gibernau at the Jerez venue.In terms of a Championship,not fair is simply not fair. The not fair part is by no means a reference to Rossi's mistake on track,but a reference to the nett.points gain/loss resultant in terms of the title chase.
You caused it,you pay for it equally should be the rule of thumb.
A few simple rule changes before Estoril might be in order.

Total votes: 131

on the money. We can only hope ..................Being a cynical bastard, my only question, is there anyone impartial and intelligent enough in the FIM to administer said rule. As you have worded your idea, just implementation should not be an issue, but..............

Bayliss and Gibernau as adjudicating stewards ....?

Total votes: 144

I'm with you. If the bike is stopped, remove it from the trap. No free bump starts. It's dangerous and it damages the authenticity of the contest. I also agree they need to black flag all competitors who crash into other riders.

Classifying Rossi's move as a racing incident simply means that no disciplinary action needs to be taken by the FIM. It doesn't mean that the FIM should let Rossi's 5th place result stand. Is it not obvious to race direction that they are establishing strong incentives for championship rivals to barge one another into the kitty litter? That's not racing, and it has no entertainment value. Does anyone see shiny, happy faces as a result of the Turn 1 mugging? Maybe a handful of sicko Spaniards who are ecstatic to see Lorenzo succeed at Casey's expense, but most people are pretty miserable as a result of this racing inequity.

This wouldn't be such a big deal if the FIM didn't take such a preposterous approach to race governance. Laissez-faire is wonderful. Lazy-faire is hell. The riders and fans cannot even count on the FIM to throw a flag if a competitor is mortally wounded during competition. Race control has some deeply ingrained bad habits, and it is time for a shake up, imo. The fans should not let the FIM put the spotlight of scrutiny upon the peons who are only trying to follow orders.

If the poor race governance is the result of rabid MSMA members who are afraid that race directors will play politics, the FIM need to wrest control of race governance from the MSMA while the FIM still has a shred of credibility.

Total votes: 141

I remember many many ones at, for instance, Laguna Seca. Overtaking maneuvers are on short supply this days (compare to some years ago) punishing those who try and fail doesn't seem very pro-entertainment to me.

Seeking to avoid possible black flags rider will take less chances.

After all, crashing is pretty bad for riders ¿right? Or do you thinks he said "I´m fighting for 2nd place but since 5th (and I´m sure to come at least that high) is all the same to me, I´ll risk crashing and waste this huge opportunity just to see if I can make it on this turn"... "Yeah! take that Casey, off I go".

Errors are all ready punished by the crash itself, black flags will punish trying.

Total votes: 131

Black flags will not punish trying, they will punish failing. If you try something risky, you are taking a risk and with all risks there is a chance of reward or consequences.

The risk Rossi took could have paid off big time, but I don't think he deserves to be rewarded for a risk that did not pay off. I do not think any rider deserves that.

Total votes: 144

Permitting riders to crash into one another is surely the worst way to encourage overtaking. The defense-of-overtaking-argument isn't real anyway. It is a red herring from team owners and manufacturers who are eager to defend their for-profit enterprises from sanctions. "Don't discourage overtaking" is particularly lucrative in F1 where overtaking rarely occurs, and the constructors points are worth hundreds of thousands of Euros a piece. If your driver chops off someone's front wing during a terrible overtake, you'd do anything to make sure your team keeps the points.

Motorsports would improve if fans would not endorse the for-profit skulduggery of the teams and the commercial rights holders. If the organizers can't allow NASCAR smash-ups, they might have to do smart things to encourage overtaking like raise the fuel capacity, reduce the electronics, and fire Brickstone.

Total votes: 141

At NASCAR you can actually crash your way into the lead, at motorcycle racing you can´t. Crashing almost definitely mean loosing many many points if not the hole race (or your health), if that doesn´t discourage smashing into each other neither will black flags.

Interesting that you mention F1 where overtaking HAS been greatly discourage trough out the 90´ and early 2000´s both trough technical rules and disciplinary measures. Many people will agree that the best F1 driver of the last 50 year was Ayrton Senna. If you are not familiar with F1 put "Senna overtake" on youtube and then tell me if we would even know his name if back then black flags were handed at "dangerous" drivers. And again driving like that is impossible on motorcycles.

I do absolutely agree with you on the technical ways of encouraging overtakes.

Total votes: 145

I'm not trying to discourage anything. I could threaten MotoGP riders with capital punishment, but they'd still keep crashing and making bad overtakes. Lost cause. Enforcing the sporting codes is not about discouraging certain types of racing, it's about making sure that people don't gain an advantage from unprofessional, dangerous riding.

Rossi crashed into Stoner. Stoner retired. Rossi scored fifth. Jerez was a windfall for Ducati, and it allowed Rossi to outscore a championship rival by 11 pts.

Under normal circumstances, it is quite difficult to tell who was at fault or which parties participated as belligerents; however, the Rossi-Stoner crash at Jerez is very clear cut. Rossi caused the accident without any duress from a fellow competitor.

Total votes: 128

Maybe I am exaggerating, but It still worries me that something like this would generate an extra "fear" in riders to attempt overtaking on the edge.
Also, a black flag is a very harsh penalty it doesn't just mean to not finish the race, it implies unsporst-like conduct, and I really thinks his only intention was to pass, that he thought he could and that he made a mistake. Strong punishment of errors, I think, points towards eradicating the human factor (think of airline pilots) and I don´t want that in sports.
I doubt he sees the part where he gained 11 points on Casey, he probably sees the part where he lost 5, 9 or 14 on every one else (he probably thinks 14).

Total votes: 157

they both had fair chances to finish on the rostrum, would Rossi fall without taking out Stoner, he probably gained more like 30 points over a likely outcome (Stoner on the rostrum, Rossi 5-6th place after the crash). However what's done is done, no point really into all of these speculations.

Total votes: 141

It should be simple, you do a risky overtaking move and nobody gets taken out...no penalty. You do a risky overtaking move and somebody gets taken out...penalty. Simple as that.

I don't think anyone deserves to get rewarded for taking a risk that does not pay off. I guess working for years in risk management has given me a very definite view on this. Companies, sports people etc. take risks (calculated or not) and they reap the rewards and should also be willing to pay the cost.

If Rossi did not gain anything from the risk he took in that move on Stoner, I would not be saying much on this issue...other than it sucked that the crash happened and we didn't get to see them battling it out like when Rossi was with Yamaha and Stoner was with Ducati.

Total votes: 139

PIT BULL...Just wanted to say you are another great voice of reason, and I always enjoy reading your comments.

Total votes: 133

A cornerworker's first priority is safety. As I watched the wreck, I immediately saw that Rossi was pinned under his motorcycle, on the track. If I saw this from my couch overseas, certainly the cornerworkers saw this as well. With Stoner safely on his feet, the crews were rightly rushing to Rossi's aid first.

Further, cornerworkers are taught to get on and off the track as quickly as possible, no? As they continued pushing Stoner's bike, seemingly uphill, they began to re-enter the race line, at which point I think they called it.

I'd wager that HRC themselves may have had more to do with this review than any further complaining from Stoner.

Total votes: 159

Look at the footage again,
By the time the marshals reached the two riders, Rossi was already on his feat, nice and safe. (Shoulder and all!)
Every marshal stayed with Rossi and helped him until he was back in the race.
The marshals then began to walk away. Only Stoners frantic pleas got them to try help him.

No matter who your a fan of, nothing about the above is fair (to Stoner, his sponsors, team, fans, fans of the sport in general) or professional. Fans wouldn't stand for it in F1, why should bike fans be any different?

As for the move itself, blast me if you want but if this incident happened again with Rossi in Stoners place and Elias or Crutchlow (for example) performing the ambitious pass, they'd have incurred a time penalty and a fine too.

Didn't something like this happen in Assen (I think) between Elias and Capirex? Elias tried a crazy pass that took both of them across the gravel at the last corner. Elias lost a few places but Capi finished behind him. As far as I recall, Elias had 10 seconds added to his race time and I think was fined too. Anyone else remember that?

Hopefully the powers that be will ban marshal involvement following these incidents and at least consider punishing dangerous overtakes more consistently.

Total votes: 154

Great write up as always David. As I read these comments I am a little confused. It seems to me that both riders got equal help, and if you look at it Casey actually gets far more help from the marshalls than Vale does. This all comes down to the near impossibility of bump starting the honda. It's not the cornerworkers fault that the Ducati lights right up when psuhed a short distance. In my opinion the corner workers did far too much for Casey and Marco by pushing them for so long.

Total votes: 150

If there is any procedural change following this even then it will be that corner workers can not help start at all. I think this is a good idea. Maybe all the bikes in the new Moto3 class through MotoGP should be required to be equipped with electric starters and no corner worker assistance should be allowed beyond getting them upright as they'd have to do that anyway to drag the bike away or usher the rider away. And back to LeMans starts too!!

The few seconds of video of the actions following the event only show about 10 percent of the time in question. I think those few seconds are unlikely to have revealed the entire situation of the movements following the crash. When all the corner workers rushed over to Rossi I think it was because he appeared to be injured and trapped under the bikes. If one rider is standing and the other is under a bike, then the corner workers did the right thing by focusing their intention at the rider on the ground. And as their backs were to the other rider they didn't see Stoner right away. But as soon as he got their attention, several quickly jumped over to get him moving. They didn't shrug, wait, delay or otherwise show they had an agenda. They just didn't know he was in need during the 5 seconds they focused on a rider who had been trapped under a bike. It's a shame that the Honda couldn't be restarted for what ever reason, but to blame that on corner workers, even if just one was helping, is subjective.

Total votes: 151

... is what this will be. FIM/Dorna will close ranks over it.

Fans of Rossi seem to be taking this marshalling thing as a personal criticism of him. It's not, though as I've said before it might have been deemed thoughtful and sportsmanlike of him to ensure the innocent victim of the crash was the first one to receive help. But then people do often mistake showmanship for sportsmanship where VR is concerned.

Total votes: 144

I thought about this too. If it were me and I knew I made a mistake I would have pointed the marshall's to assist Stoner first. That's just me and my idea of sportsmanship. I love the sport first and foremost therefore I have a great appreciation for all riders no matter who is my favorite.

There probably should be some kind of awareness for marshall's about bump starting, but hey let's not forget that the racing marshall's/track workers are volunteers and don't have extensive training, etc. After all, they work a few events a year at most. Let's cut them some slack, they made sure a rider under a bike was ok and tried to get them back on the track.

Maybe riders will be instructed not to cut the engine unless they can't go back out. Seems to be a problem - save the engine or rejoin the race?

Total votes: 140

This may be best placed elsewhere but why does the Honda need two pins in its clutch to start? This might be the most interesting thing to come out of all of this...

Total votes: 137

... anyone from Honda - Stoner or otherwise - say that he had actually switched off the bike after the crash. I've read a lot about Stoner having stopped the engine but I've not heard it from anyone associated with the team. Anyone care to oblige with a link? Just wondering whether he did stop it or it stalled.

Total votes: 148

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/90428

Casey had the moral highground, but the chance to turn this into a Rossi diatribe by the man and his fans has ensured previous stereotype will always remain. It's a fumbled PR opportunity for Stoner which brings into question his new found maturity.

Where will he be if Estoril throws up another DNF?

Total votes: 166

I'm not sure there is any way to discuss this without it turning into a "Rossi diatribe". One rider received better treatment from the corner workers and that rider was Rossi (lets face it, he was 100m down the track before anyone started working with Stoner to start the Honda). Stoner wasn't on his own with the comments; Simo also brought up the Rossi factor with regards to better treatment at the track,.

This is perceived to be a fact of life by the other riders in the paddock. Its Rossi vs the rest. How do you talk about this and not bring Rossi into it?

Total votes: 152

Sorry for reapeting this comment that I´ve maid in another post, but the more I see the video the more I think this is being blown out of proportion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYNe6VzhNo0

While I agree that Marshalls where a little bias (to Rossi or against Stoner), the first ones to arrive came from the front of Rossi (being closer to him) and they reach him less than a second before he gets out of the bike (maybe they didn't give it such a cold headed long though as we do).
Also they begin gathering around Casey before Rossi sets off, rossi even has a little trouble with the sand trap and they don´t push him.
There are like 4 second between their help for Rossi and for Casey, while for the race this is massive, for reaction of not so trained people it´s not that much.
It look to me that they simply where not to keen on pushing A bike, and as far as I know that´s not exactly their job.
Also if you look at the video had Casey´s engine been running both of them would have set of at the same time (actually Casey would have set off first).

Total votes: 138

Thanks for this video link.

I think this, more than the thousands if no millions of words that have been written on the issue, shows just how out of proportion this debate has become.

What, if anything, I would like to see as the outcome of the review into this incident is the marshalls being absolved of any wrong doing, and no new, hasitly written and poorly considered rules being introduced. This championship has had far too much change over the last few years, and needs some stable, level-handed leadership to get things back on an even keel.

Total votes: 157

This rather hazy and jumpy video still shows Rossi receiving the first and most assistance while Stoner receives next to none. I'd be interested to know whether there are angles from the race control cameras that we haven't seen yet.

Total votes: 148

I didn´t mean they did not favor Rossi, I meant they favoritism was far far less important that people are making it to be. For me they were not wrong to go first to Rossi they where wrong at the time they spent on him, which was just a couple of seconds more than acceptable. They did not push Rossi out of the sand and they did push Casey, just not as much as he would have wanted, as I've seen, to bump (¿or is it jump?) start a motoGP without a magic gearbox a couple of guys is enough.
Their performance had extremely little to do with the crash result. And as it has been said before pushing a bike trough the outside of that turn was very dangerous.

Total votes: 140

Personally, I can easily imagine that all the mature riders in the pack (if there are any like that) will be thinking, logically, that it is still very early in a long season when a huge number of things will happen...I can't imagine that Mr Stoner would have expected to win every single race this year - that wouldn't be very sporting.

Total votes: 171

Naively, I thought that after the tragic accident last year, the role of marshals would have been reevaluated. They can be the difference between life and death of a rider, they are so important, I don't ever want to see an unconscious rider dropped of a stretcher again (even if it had nothing to do with the injuries sustained, this is not the point).

As Dennis Noyes pointed out corner workers are (or at least most of them) volunteers and they put their life at risk just by being there. So they deserve respect.
But I think riders involved in a world championship deserve greater professionalism. I don't know how long marshals are trained, and what their training consists of, but it's clearly not up to the task.

I don't know either about current rules (do they prevent/compel marshals helping a rider restarting, do they describe precisely in which limits it should be done?) but as brave and necessary as the marshals are, I believe the sports need less amateurism and more professionalism on their part.

This specific case deals with marshals possibly interfering (even involuntarily) with race results, this is bad enough, but imagine what can this amateurism translate into when dealing with injured riders, which is their primary mission by far, maybe the only one indeed? This is unacceptable at the world championship level.

Total votes: 128

While I agree with most of what yo said I think that we should consider the consequences of demanding true professionalism from them. At least in my opinion the priority of the marshals should be riders safety. Having said that pushing a bike trough the outside of a wet, tricky corner it´s most definitely NOT safe. Safety professional would have guide/force Stoner out of the possible crash runway of other bikes and done the same for his bike. Actually they would probably not have allow rossi to sit on his bike on said runway.
I think that what we are asking would not have produce the results that we want (the crash having as little as possible to do we the result of the race).

Total votes: 143

in this example we have seen lots of corner workers just standing around Rossi's bike, doing nothing, satisfied to just have an upclose look at the bike and rider. Not that I would not do it if I were in the same situation, but I think their role goes further that being happy to be around Rossi or to touch his bike.
Also Casey had to shout at them to get them coming back to him because once Rossi was on his way they thought they were done...
I am aware that everything happens in less than a minute, that these guys are volunteers. This is specifically because they need to think and act so fast that they need proper training, they can do a better job than what they've done.
Assessing the situation, dividing into 2 groups when 2 riders are involved, acting in a coordinated fashion, checking the crash site before leaving and so on.

And concerning pushing the bikes back on track apparently they need more precise rules/instructions to ensure fair treatment of all the riders (whether it's their role to push the bikes or not).

Total votes: 156

That would have been a far better handling of the situation.

Total votes: 138

I'm amazed at how much attention this issue is getting and I feel that Casey's accusations weren't warranted although I like Stoner. The marshals made an attempt to get Casey up and running but they would have had to have gone out onto the track during the race if they continued to push further. That Honda wasn't going to restart easily with a bump. Hell, they'd still be pushing that bike today (BTW, as far as dropping off, how many people does it take to push a GP bike). The articles description made it sound like the marshals pulled ('extricated') the bike off of Rossi and got him going while ignoring Casey but after reviewing the footage that doesn't appear to be the case to my eyes. I'd be very surprised if the race officials find any fault with the Spanish corner volunteers. Also, when aren't the cameras not following Rossi; after all he is a racing legend whether you like him or not. Let's move on to Estoril and hope for dry weather.

Total votes: 144

so split decisions on part of the marshals. It also shows that Casey's anger and criticism, while understandly in the heat of the moment, is pretty much unfounded.
Let the discussion in Estoril focus on safety- of both (volunteer!) corner workers and riders. And in my opinion the former should not be on the race line with bikes going round at 150-250km per hour helping the latter.

Total votes: 132

From the video Javi posted just above, this looks to me like a large quantity of marshals going beyond the call of duty (and probably beyond what they SHOULD have done).

I can't tell in that video, but on the BBC's coverage they said that Rossi's engine never stopped running. If that's the case, can the marshals really be expected to know that Stoner's engine could even be restarted?

Marshals are humans like everyone else. In the heat of the moment, not every single marshal can be expected to weigh all the options and make a perfect decision on "fairness" within a second or a fraction of a second.

If anything, I think the SAFEST action would have been to give Rossi a few seconds to get away on his own (if his engine really never stopped running) and then to get Stoner's bike (and Stoner) off the track and out of the danger zone as quickly as possible.

When a situation like this is dissected down to every nuance, it will NEVER be 100% fair. That's life. That's racing. That's human nature.

My personal "choice" would be to get rid of the stupid 6 engine rule so the engine can be left running. If the rider goes down and can get away on his own (with maybe a marshal helping to pick up the bike), then fine. Otherwise... get the bike off the track. JMHO.

Total votes: 131

Don't understand this notion that a rider should be black flagged for racing agressively if they are involved in a crash as a result of it. It's racing! This is the pinnacle of the sport and these guys are paid large sums of money and are under all sorts of pressure for results. That aside, most of these riders have also been riding competitavely for the majority of their lives and is only natural. However, if the move or act was in a malicious manner, than of course by all means black flag them or atleast make them ride through the pitts for a lap. Rossi has been around long enough for fans of the sport to know what to expect from him. He passes aggressively and defends just as hard. He's been at fault for many wrecks and has also been the victum of several throughout his tenure. Most people either love him or hate him so no matter how this incident would have turned out their minds would have been biased one way or another. As far as the marshals helping fallen riders, they should only be allowed to move the bike/rider to safety and not to bumpstart anyone's ride.

Total votes: 140

... seems to have departed this veil of tears.

Might we please stop flogging it?

Total votes: 135

I just made my first comment on the issue! I wait until the master class make it well known that world conspires against their great rider before I chime in.

Total votes: 138

As someone said above, I 'hope' this doesn't come back and bite us in the ass! Do we actually want NO corner worker help for a rider that is down? I think the entire 'episode' is getting blown out of proportion, and while Stoner was in the 'heat of the moment', and his frustration is totally understandable, aiming all the blame at the corner workers is silly!

Question: CAN the Honda be bump started? Has anyone answered that question? What I've read is that the clutch needs pins in it then it can be started. David, do you have an answer for this question? From some of the videos I've seen, several corner workers start to push Stoner's bike and then stop.

As someone pointed out above (again), how many riders went down in turn 1? Spies lost the front and said his telemetry said that he was going slower then the last lap and he just 'lost it'. The Rossi/Stoner 'incident' was just that . . . a racing incident. AND . . . I'm a 'fanboy' of motorcyle racing! Have been since King Kenny was kicking everyone here in the states, before taking his game over to 'Europe'! I AM a fanboy of Rossi! But a picture of Stoner is my screen saver and I've got a 'bet' on him winning it ALL THIS YEAR! Was I upset at Rossi taking him out? Ya damn right I was because it robbed us of ONE HELL'EVA RACE!!! BUT . . . that's RACING!

Total votes: 140

They put pins in the clutch before starting, do they trigger a lock-out of the slipper mechanism for starting and are then removed before firing up ?

Any video of firing up in the pit lane or prior to the warm-up lap ?

Total votes: 135

Imagine that you are one of the cornerworkers.Who do you help first?Now don't forget,one bike is still running.Remember folks,one of the motorbike is running.Wouldn't you get that one out of the way first?As for the magic gearbox?Well it isn't perfect,is it?The first commentor here has it dead on,Stoner and company should have probably kept it"inside the tent".Nothing good will come out of this.Z

Total votes: 143

IMO the best option would be an automatic switch off if the rider drops the bike and no pushing whatsoever for anyone unless the bike is still on and only needs help to get out of the gravel.

Total votes: 133

The biggest thing to come out of this is the Achilles heel of the magic Honda gearbox. I was already despairing that the season would be a Honda runaway.

This incident will seemingly polarize people for a long time. I know people at Laguna still wear anti-Pedrosa shirts, presumably because of him taking Hayden out at Estoril in 06 (06, right?). I am not going to wade into that back and forth anymore because it seems to have settled along some partisan lines and I think there are a few issues to consider, etc., etc. I'm not Casey's biggest fan, even though I think he's really talented, but I feel bad for him getting taken out, regardless of who did it or what happened with the marshals.

Total votes: 149

having worked a few GP races...

the guys with the orange singlets are corner workers. They deal with picking up bikes and clearing the track, they do NOT provide medical aid to or even touch the riders, ever.

Each corner will have medical people for that, they wear red singlets.

What I saw the corner workers do wrong when Rossi and Stoner went down was:

A) they all ran out in a loose (and overexcited) mob that all swarmed around Rossi's bike.

What they were supposed to do is go out in teams, ideally 4 guys to a bike and another hanging back with a fire extinguisher and spotting for the team.

B) and even worse, after a feeble effort to start Stoner's bike, all but one guy took off and left a rider and a dead bike on the track.

repeat: 8 or 9 guys took off and left one track worker, a rider and a dead bike on the track.

This is purely a training issue and hopefully DORNA conclude that they need to put some effort into training and communication with their volunteers. IMO the WorldSBK people do a 100X better job of that.

Total votes: 158

Perhaps Dorna and the FIM could use some of their bales of money and hire professional corner workers that go to each race. This is MotoGP, after all, and it's supposed to be the big time.

Just a thought.

Total votes: 145

This is getting ridiculous in it's magnitude!
The fact is Rossi tried to outbrake Stoner and misjudged his track position and braking point.
To win races at this level you have to grasp your chances, although I'm sure his time would have come later, Simoncelli could have been getting further away by then! It's unfortunate that it went wrong, as I'm sure he would have won the race and Stoner would have had a rostrum.
Stoner was right to be aggrieved, he's only superhuman after all!

As for the Marshals, they behaved correctly by going to the rider pinned under his bike, all they did was pick it up, and as it was still running Rossi was away. Stoners bike wouldn't fire, and they can't be expected to be running down the track on the racing line during a race involving the fastest bikes on the planet! End of story!

As far as an enquiry is concerned, it would have been better to have reviewed it internally without fuss and issued a statement to say they were satisfied that everything was correctly handled. That would take any reasonable and sensible person ten minutes of his time to come to that conclusion!

Total votes: 136

I'm watching the incident from the youtube link provided and I can't see even one marshall pushing Rossi's bike, they only stood it up and Rossi seems to take off on his own,after a little difficulty with the gravel, while there were at least 4 or maybe 5 corner workers trying to bump start Stoner's(one of them even falls in the race line,sec 34), I think they did all they know to do and enough to bump start any bike, sans the Honda with the tricky clutch.

Blasting the marshalls for this or claiming foul play, me thinks is going to far. Stoner needs to quit conspirancy theories and Honda needs to review their secret recipie...and yes...Rossi needs to think twice before trying such sketchy maneuvers.

Total votes: 142

I just saw the video and I can see 8 people running to help Rossi, where in fact they didn't help cause Rossi was up and moving away, they were just padding him, then a few seconds pass and Stoner called them to help him. 4 of them started to push, one fell down and the other 2 just quit after 2 steps. One kept trying but impossible for him to push.

Total votes: 127

The really dissapointing aspect of all of this is that irrespective of who pushed the claim further up the line (Stoner/Sic/HRC), this will just play into the stereotype that Stoner is a whinger.

Fans are so fickle, and I personally find certain parts of the paddock stamping their little feet over rule changes when things aren't going to plan more disgusting than I do listening to other riders put foward their opinions about the daily grind of GP life.. or in this case, apparent favourtism in the gravel. It'd be difficult not to feel hard done by when you're firstly taken out, then the guy that just took you out takes off into the distance and you're left stranded in the gravel. That's the crux of the issue. It'd be hard to swallow.

Off the track you wouldn't meet a better family than the Stoner family. Casey is a good kid, he is simply not an attention whore and doesn't like the media circus (Sorry Dave). Growing up where he grew up it's completely understandable. The media fascination and idolism associated with being a celebrity just doesn't sit well with some people.

So in the washup of this complaint, Casey will continue to be the paddock whiner.. but dare I say it, a whiner at the top of the pack. I hope his on-track demenour continues on as-is, and he lets the results speak for themselves.

Total votes: 139

Do the current rules prevent a starter motor from being fitted to the bike?

If there is genuine concern for the safety of the marshals (as there should be) then enforce a ruling that their role is to assist the riders so as to prevent any furher injury or danger and clear the track to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Their role (I believe) shouldn't extend to pushing a dead bike to try and start it, especially where they end up back on the track and possibly in the traffic.

Unfortunately this means that the same circumstance may come up again where a rider is taken out through no fault of their own and can't continue the race. That's been happening for donkeys years though and is part of racing. If the teams want the abilty to rejoin more easily after the motor has stalled / been switched off then they must be willing to compromise.

I imagine the concern for teams would be additional weight so another question ... if starter motors were fitted where is there room to strip off some weight on the machines?

One final question ..... I find it a bit odd that if, for example, a rider cuts a corner and gains an unfair advantage is penalised if they make no attempt to make amends (makes sense to me). How is it then that a rider who causes a crash and is able to rejoin the race and gain an advantage over the other rider gets no penalty whatsoever? It appears that there is no consequence for what has been openly admitted as a mistake. If there's no consequence it will embolden riders to continue to make crazy, unsafe moves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating nanny racing I just want to see exciting and controlled risk taking that adds to the whole spectacle of the race, not kamikaze racing that detracts from the event.

Total votes: 149

Over the years, as an unrepentant Rossi fan, I have hated anyone posing a challenge to 46. This year, finally, I am maturing and appreciate all the riders for what they can do. In particular, I have been astonished by Stoner at his ability and have reconsidered my opinion of him. This,however, does highlight that he is a whiner with a chip on his shoulder. Wayne Gardner, his countryman, says there was not an issue. http://www.cyclenews.com/articles/road-racing/2011/04/04/wayne-s-world-t...

According to Wayne, Marshalls job is to administer to an injured rider - #46 pinned under two motorcycles in this case. Rather than yank his bike up, you can see Moaner screaming, crying and giving the double finger once he is leaving the track.

And while he is correct that Rossi should have apologized in private, he did not need the editorial comments about ability and ambition.

Total votes: 144

Whiner... Chip on shoulder... Wayne... Gardner... Pot... Kettle... Black....
:-)

As for this whole debacle, I feel sorry for Casey, not only that he was taken out of a likely podium, but also that his emotional reaction has turned him into the bad guy in all of this, while yet again Rossi pulls a dodgy move and comes out smelling like roses (albeit perhaps slightly wilting ones).

Total votes: 151

I would take Gardner's comments with a healthy dose of salt - he himself has over many years been widely regarded in Australia not just as a hugely talented motorcycle racer, but equally as a bit of a 'sook' complaining about all and sundry.

Oh, and lets not forget that he admits publicly to being a huge Valentino Rossi fan.
http://www.fasterandfaster.net/2006/07/waynes-world.html

Back on topic....Marshalls should see to the safety of riders (both those crashed out and those still competing), and trying to restart 4 stroke GP bikes trackside falls outside these duties. If riders can restart their bikes themselves (without endangering other competitors) I have no problem with them rejoining the race. Maybe the added weight penalty of an 'electric leg' such as most enduro bikes now sport would alleviate the problem and absolve track marshalls from the decision of having to restart bikes or not. Obviously, in the interests of other competitors, the trackside officials should be able to prevent a rider with a badly damaged bike attempting to rejoin the race.

Total votes: 147

Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good beat up hey?

Rossi was out from under the bike and standing up before any of the marshalls even reached him.

Total votes: 151

After I thought about it... is it really possiable for Rossi to go anywhere without cameras on him?? - I think not..

To Rossi, apparently, it was important to issue the apology very quickly after the race - and he did (I thought it was weak to not take his helmet off though).

The press was stalking out both garages to get it on film... so not sure this is a valid critism from Casey.

Stoner was understandably upset (though I really thought his comments truly classless as was his applauce when Rossi went by), his emotions understandable but I feel like he's doing everything to blow it out of proportion...... After all, he's wrecked people too and likely will again before the end of his career. He feels like it cost him a podium, when the guy has folded like a lawn chair more time than I can count.

I doubt the Honda has ever been bump started but it sounds like a very very difficult task. Perhaps that's where the inquiry should start... get a few honda mechanics to push the bike and see if it will start this way....

I am Rossi fan, and a fan of stoners talent (not his Chrisma, nor attitude however) - Being objective as I can, there just does not seem to be any basis to any investigation from Officials. What will come of this is NO More aide to riders - remove them from the track and let them sort the bike themselves... and frankly I think this is fair.

Total votes: 163

The only way to make this fair to have no outside assistance by the marshals to get going again after you have binned it as in other two wheeled motorsports.

Total votes: 133

I agree that maybe since it is MotoGP they should be professional. But up to now they are not. They are volounteers. They may do right or wrong. But first of all they are there out of their will to help safety.
So I believe that HRC, Suppo, Sic (and of course Stoner to ... but let's not forget that he was not the only one complaining) should say thank you to them. If they are not happy with what is happened they should ask to have professional or rule changed but not blame it on people that are there and have to take decisions in split seconds and are doing things like assistance without proper technical training. Or maybe ask for more training to them. Or blame the organisation (not the people since it's not on their job description ... and is not even a job).

This way they will just make the future assistance more less likely to happen because it will be easier not to help anyone.

Total votes: 138

This seems to me like yet another knee jerk reaction by the FIM simply because of pressure by Honda. There is no mention of an investigation into any of the other numerous accidents last weekend (some involving more than one rider), nor any mention of De Puniet receiving no assistance from corner workers following his crash.

having watched a lot of footage taken by spectators on youtube and the official race coverage, I can't see how Stoner/Honda have a case at all in this. Corner workers went to Rossi first becasue he was on the ground under his bike. However at the same time others were running to assist Stoner and trying to push his bike to start it.

Either the FIM need to introduce a strict F1 style 'no outside assistance' rule or the manufacturers must hold themselves responsible if their bikes are difficult or impossible to start by pushing and accept that a crash will inevitably mean no restart.

The accident itself was a common enough racing incident and nothing to shout about in my opinion. If it had occurred further down the order, involve other riders or been in Moto2/125 we wouldn't be discussing it now thats for sure. We've seen hundreds of similar crashes over the years without all this fuss and blather (although probably without the input and complaints from Honda!)

Total votes: 135

I take Waynes comments and those of most riders with a pinch of salt! I always think that they are just as speculative as we are when it comes to their opinions!

Total votes: 138

I would add that 125cc rider Danny Webb crashed in qualification, on turn 5. He ended up pushing the bike all the way back to the paddock on his own. He didn't have many good things to say about the marshals!

Total votes: 134

Just kidding... but those were some spectacular and dangerous spectacles back in the day.

So how long before Honda has an electric start on those bikes? Again, kidding, sort of...

Total votes: 140

That is, "Did the rider who caused this incident gain advantage from it?".
The answer, of course, is that they did & should incur a reasonable penalty as a result. To my mind that would be a fair outcome & would not discourage overtaking in the future, as some have suggested.
As for the furore re Stoner's comments, gestures etc., isn't one of the reasons we love this sport because it has fire & passion?
In the heat of the moment...

I'll risk being pilloried in saying this, but if it was a European rider, no, not necessarily Rossi, wouldn't we just accept the fiery aspects of this incident?
People get steamed up & then calm down, that's human nature.
A physical altercation would be taking it too far, however this incident didn't sink to that level, so no harm done.

Perhaps we all want the same thing, a fair outcome.

Total votes: 143