On the eve of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, the Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP's rule making body has allowed a system which was first mooted at the same race last year. In Assen, the GPC gathered to discuss various minor tweaks to the MotoGP rules, but among them was a major upgrade: permitting the use of dashboard messages by the teams from 2018.
The ability to send messages is piggybacking off the system put in place to aid Race Direction. With spec ECUs and spec dashboards in Moto3 and MotoGP, Race Direction had long wanted the ability to send messages to the bikes on track. They can already send a signal warning the riders that the race has been red-flagged, or to tell a particular rider that he has been black-flagged, but they had wanted to expand on that ability. The spec ECU and dashboard used in both Moto3 and MotoGP is capable of operating in full duplex mode, both sending and receiving messages via the timing loops around the track. That allows Race Direction both to send a message to one or more riders, and to be certain that they have actually received the message (though seeing/reading/comprehending it is a different kettle of fish altogether).
At the Sachsenring MotoGP race last year, a debate unfolded over whether teams should be use that system to send their own messages. The desire to be able to do so came from the fact that multiple riders missed their pit boards, and did not come in on time, thereby throwing away any chance of winning the race. Afterwards, several riders expressed a desire to be able to receive messages from the team, to help them decide when was the best time to swap bikes from wet tires to slicks.
Their wish has now been granted. From 2018, when the dashboard message system is adopted in MotoGP and Moto3 (Moto2 is to follow, when the engines are switched to Triumph and the electronics to Magneti Marelli), the teams will also be able to send their riders messages, without any limitation or restriction.
The official press release from the FIM appears below:
FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission
The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting) and Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), in a meeting held in Assen on 24 June 2017, made the following decisions:
Detailed changes concerning tank capacity, including tubing, and non-return valves were approved.
Chassis Construction Materials
During the GPC meeting in Losail new regulations were approved concerning materials that may be used in the construction of Moto3 and Moto2 class chassis. With slight modifications, primarily concerning the material used for swinging arm and wheel spindles, the regulations will now apply to chassis in all classes.
Updated, detailed specifications for Moto2 electronics and ancillaries were confirmed.
Insurance for Wild Card Riders
Wild card riders will henceforth be included in the accidental injury insurance provided by IRTA and will no longer need to obtain insurance from their National Federation for that event. This will give them the same level of cover as the permanently contracted riders.
Participation in Different Championships at the Same Event
At some events there are races for the same category of machine in different Championships. It will no longer be permitted for a rider to compete in more than one Championship during the same event.
Dashboard Displays and Messages
It has already been confirmed that machines in the Moto3 and MotoGP class must have the dashboard facility to display text messages, linked to the current warning lights, with effect from 2018. This will also apply to the Moto2 class from 2019. The GPC have now confirmed the precise list of messages that will be sent with the warning lights by Race Direction.
Some teams already have the facility on their machine dashboards to receive text messages and, following approval from the Safety Commission, the GPC confirmed that such teams may already use this facility as a “virtual pit board”. This does not require any amendments to existing regulations.
Appointments of Official Suppliers
The GPC confirmed the appointment of the following official suppliers to the Championship:
- Triumph as supplier of engines for the Moto2 class with effect from 2019.
- Dell’Orto as supplier of the ECU for the Moto3 class from 2018 to 2020
Request from HRC
The GPC approved a request from HRC to, in the interests of safety, replace the inlet valves on a number of their Moto3 class engines due to a manufacturing flaw leading to incidences of cracking. The changes will be made under the supervision of Technical Direction staff and engines so affected will be limited to a total usage of 2,200 km.
A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on: