After the serious incident at Silverstone, in which Dani Rivas crashed into Steven Odendaal during the Sunday morning warm up, as Odendaal and other riders stood waiting to make practice starts, the Grand Prix Commission has taken steps to regulate practice starts in all three Grand Prix classes. From now on, practice starts will only be allowed from designated locations at the circuit, and practice starts elsewhere will be banned.
Practice starts will be allowed from pit lane exit during practice, and at one or two designated zones around each track, as decided before each race. Marshals will indicate the start of the practice start zones, and all riders not electing to practice a start in that zone will be warned by yellow flags and will have to stay on the opposite side of the track from the start zone.
The new rules are effective immediately. The FIM press release containing the full set of rules appears below:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission
The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on September 26 2013 at Motorland Aragon, made the following decision:
All Classes - Effective immediately
Responding to a request from Race Direction and the Safety Commission, The Grand Prix Commission has decided to make immediate amendments to the regulations controlling the regulation of practice starts.
Riders will still be permitted to make practice starts when it is safe to do so, at the pit lane exit before joining the track.
Riders will also still be permitted to make practice starts after passing the chequered flag at the end of practice sessions and warm-ups. However, under the revised regulation the location of these practice starts will be controlled.
For each circuit there will be one or two (depending on circuit layout) designated Practice Start Zones. These zones will be communicated to the teams on Wednesday or Thursday before practice begins. Practice starts may be made only in the designated Practice Start Zone(s), and the following procedure will apply:
1. After the chequered flag at the end of the practice session, a track marshal will be positioned on the side of the track indicating the Practice Start Zone(s).
The Zone will be off the racing line, on the opposite side of the track to the normal racing line.
2. Yellow flags will be waved at the marshal post(s) before the Practice Start Zone, to alert riders that bikes may be stopped ready for practice starts.
3. Riders may make practice starts only when there are no stationary bikes in front of them. That is, the riders most forward in the Practice Start Zone make their starts first, followed by the riders behind them, and so on.
4. Only one practice start from each Practice Start Zone is allowed. It is not permitted to make a practice start, then stop further up the track and make another practice start from the same Zone.
5. Riders who do not wish to make a practice start may continue slowly on the racing line, on the opposite side of the track to the Practice Start Zone.