Race Direction Review Of Jerez Incident Handling: Nothing To See Here, Move Along

The aftermath of the crash between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner at Jerez continues to rumble on. After Stoner accused the marshals of favoritism, not doing enough to help him rejoin the race, but assisting Rossi, Race Direction announced that they would be reviewing the evidence and holding a hearing at Estoril.

That meeting and review was held today, and afterwards Race Direction issued a statement on the incident. As expected, they found that the handling of the incident had been "safe and appropriate", and that no further action would be taken against the marshals, only recommending that the Grand Prix Commission study the situation further.

Given the rules about situations such as happened at Jerez - i.e. none, the rules merely saying that marshals must assist in making the track safe as quickly as possible, and no mention of how much help should be given to riders to either restart their bikes and help them rejoin, or remove them from the track immediately - the outcome of the meeting was inevitable. Whatever their opinion of supposed favoritism shown to one rider or the other, Race Direction had no grounds to take action against the corner workers, even if they had wanted to. Given that as a rule, the marshals work for nothing more than a free lunch and a chance to get up close and personal with the best motorcycle racers in the world, any action would have been counter-productive, merely scaring off potential volunteers.

Below is the full text of the press release, issued by the FIM:

Statement from the Race Direction

After reviewing various videos of the incident between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner during the race of the Grand Prix of Spain on 3 April 2011 and hearing the explanation from Juan Alvarez, Director of the Circuito de Jerez, the Race Direction has decided that the behaviour of the track marshals was safe and appropriate.

The Race Direction recommends the current rules be reviewed by the Grand Prix Commission in order to study possible solutions that may results in better procedures.

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Learning (here on Motomatters) that the Honda is " nearly impossible" to restart without a special tool to disable the slipper clutch, which I highly doubt HRC provided to the corner crews, I suspect they already knew restarting Stoned's bike was a lost cause. I've spent years as a cornerworker, including corner captain at Pro events, and David is right, it's a lot of work for little reward. It's not their fault Stoner crashed nor their duty to kill themselves trying to bump start the unstartable Honda, and the issue is the brand of bike, not the name of the rider.

that the Honda was so difficult to restart (except Honda hopfully), I don't think any journalists or media knew about it so I doubt the corner workers were aware of it.
The news broke after (and because of) the incident.

…would like to see a new rule wherein the riders are the only people allowed to get their hardware started and back on the track. Marshals will lift the bike off of you if you're pinning, but won't help right it, push it, or anything else. If you can't do it yourself, tough love, you're out of the race.

Couldn't agree more!

Dorna, of course, with an embassingly thin grid already, will not see it the same way...

I think a rider/bike should be able to re enter the race if capable, cars of all types, horses, people, and other forms of bike racing do it all the time.. Penalising every error however small seems a tad pedantic, as does penalising the whole grid because the honda doesn't bump start..

Ya' know, Simoncelli said the corner workers didn't help him, either. Was that because they knew he rode a second team Honda, or because they knew he wasn't local, or because it was sangria time?

Does anyone know? Only the corner workers, I suppose