Dashboard Messages Approved For MotoGP From 2018

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:

Technical Regulations

Effective Immediately

Catch Tanks
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.

Technical Regulations

Effective 2019

Updated, detailed specifications for Moto2 electronics and ancillaries were confirmed.

Sporting Regulations

Effective Immediately

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.

Other Matters

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:

http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/regulations-and-documents/grand-prix/

Source: 

Back to top

Comments

I would not do this here or there.
I would not do this anywhere.

this is a pandora's box for exploitation by the teams in every which way.  I once thought radios would be good for motoGP for the connection to the fans - I was educated.

These messages should be broadcasted on track wide coverage then to reduce the effect the information can help a rider improve his result.  

Total votes: 87

I love the idea that the *riders* control their in-race destinies, relying on their particular combinations of skill and wit and with teams able to inject only limited information via pit board.

I also like that the pit board is so public. A team can't easily convey information without other riders (and even teams!) seeing it. And as a spectator, I dislike the notion that there will be "secret" strategy occurring that I'll not be privy to. The openness of the pit board communication helps me understand what's going on, enhancing the drama/spectacle of the sport.

Total votes: 87

Fine, let Dorna and the teams send the messages.  These guys can practically ride these tracks with their eyes closed so I don't really see it as a safety issue.  If people really are concerned about what they are looking at, the messages might actually reduce how much they watch the big screens while they're racing...they do that alot!

For the enjoyment of fans, as well as to minimize outside strategic advantage, they should make all messages publically available in real time.  Would be easy to have a ticker at the bottom of broadcasts with messages during the race, FP and QP.  I'd love to have more details about what they communicate to the riders.  I'd also love to see teams trying to react to what other riders are being told, and then seeing the decisions that the riders themselves make.

At the end of the day, most races don't involve much more than riders going as fast as they can for 40 mins, so won't make much of a difference.

F1 is missing a big opportunity by not being more open with their radio transmissions.

Total votes: 81

"At the end of the day, most races don't involve much more than riders going as fast as they can for 40 mins, so won't make much of a difference."

With the changing track conditions, the weather conditions and the changing grip levels from the tires there isn't one rider who goes flat out the whole race.  You should have known!

Total votes: 73

Yes... meaning finish the 40 minute race in as little time as possible relative to the competition, within the varying conditions.  To beat the competition, that generally means going as fast as you can over 40 mins.  You should know that doesn't need explanation here.

Total votes: 64

seems like a mixed blessing, good to have race direction able to communicate with riders about track conditions etc. bad to have teams interfering with riders racing.  When his team made an unwanted request Kimi Räikkönen told them, "I know what I'm doing!"  Riders won't be able to do that.  

PS:  He did know what he was doing! 

 

Total votes: 73

Will race direction inform the rider (or all riders in the field) or time penalties (e.g. Rossi's 0.3 seconds in Argentina), or leave that up to the teams?

Total votes: 74

Fatal is the word that comes to my mind about this move. A bad move from my perspective, I am sure Dorna would have tested this out and hopefully not listed to a certain 9 times champion alone.

I am sure it wont be a big deal for Vale and probably few elite racers in motogp, but to have it in moto3 as well looks a bit of an over do. I might be totally wrong, but think about the fatality that will occur when some one decides to read a message in the back straight of mugello? or for that sake any straight in the motogp track?

Hope I am totally wrong and all goes fine, after all these guys are superhuman.

Total votes: 84

It's a really good thing they didn't approve the use of a large board with things written on it held out on track by a member of the team and often shook up and down isn't it. I mean trying to read that could be dangerous.

/end sarcasm

Total votes: 101

I think the concern is that a rider might take their eyes off of the road to look down at a message rather than looking a bit to the side along the longest straight. Certainly the message length would need to be very short to prevent them from looking down for too long. But I agree that even pit boards can be dangerous -- many riders have almost hit them!

Total votes: 102

The race last year allowed for a rider (Marquez on this occasion.) To make a difference, by luck or judgement, doesn't matter.

Maybe with this technology he would still have made this choice but with immediate reaction to it by teams rather than riders would it still have been enough to make a difference?

Some teams might not even wait to see if it was wise to pit, they might simply mirror a championship rivals move. The safe move. Which I'm fine with if that's the riders calculation but because a team decided to played it safe?

It feels like it takes something away. We like to say the rider makes the difference. This way that will feel just that little bit less true.

But hey, maybe it's not that different, they can just ignore it right? Easy to ignore a pit board that says 'BOX!!!'

Harder to ignore a full message saying 'BOX LOSING 5 SECS A LAP' or 'RIVAL 7 secs faster BOX'

Total votes: 97

the message when I was learning to ride for my bike licence 33 years ago is the same as now, you don't want to take your eyes off the road if you can help it. you might head check, mirror check, but - read some sort of message on a display doing up to 350kmh on a motogp bike ? Sounds crazy.

Total votes: 76

I would bet by 2020 it will be a heads up display projected on either the helmet faceshield or fairing windshield. 

Total votes: 71

So riders don't miss any important updates while racing.

100% agree with other commentators above here on the openness of pitboard communication, and the desirability of the influence of the team stopping once the rider leaves pit lane.

Total votes: 90

So how close to the end of the season before the "let (team mate) XXX pass" messages appear?

Total votes: 85

Do you remember Guintoli & Sykes battling for the WSBK championship? Do you remember Marco getting told to let Sylvain by or Loris getting told to let Tom by... to which neither complied?

Just because there are messages on a pit board or dashboard doesn't mean that a rider has suddenly lost their free will. The poster below is correct, this is a TEAM sport and added communication between rider & team shouldn't be thought of as the sky falling as it can only help with team strategy, which I'm pretty sure is almost always a decision that's made by the rider and his team, not merely the rider on their own. 

The only way I can see this as being a bad thing is if the teams try to use this to hack into the ECU to make eng.mapping, TC, AW etc. changes to the bike from the pits that the rider should be in control of. 

Total votes: 81

Is that MotoGP is a team sport. So if the team can communicate during the race then I say go for it. They either win together and they lose together. 

Total votes: 77

Needs emoji and bike to bike support so that riders can give each other the finger, etc. without getting fined by DORNA for making a spectacle on TV.

 

/s

Total votes: 61

Saw today they already sent a message to Karel Abraham, was that a test?

Total votes: 61

Maybe the message to Abraham wasn't a test of the new system but using an existing one. Did you notice this in the FIM announcement?

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.

I'm confused. Maybe we'll effectively see it this year?

Total votes: 66