Farewell, MotoGP penalty point system, we barely knew you. In a press release issued today (and rather bizarrely, leaked to a Spanish journalist two days ago) the FIM announced that the Grand Prix Commission had decided to modify the penalty point system. From now on, the only penalty to be imposed will happen once a rider accrues a total of ten points, at which point they will be disqualified for one race. The penalties for four (starting from the back of the grid) and seven points (starting from pit lane) have been dropped. At a stroke, the penalty point system has been emasculated.
In fact, it is worse than that. The penalty point system was introduced to try to clamp down on persistent offenders of relatively minor infractions, and especially of Moto3 riders waiting on the racing line for a tow. The idea was that putting those who had not learned their lessons after the first couple of warnings would start to feel the consequences of their actions if they were subject to a rising scale of punishments.
Get out of jail free card
That system is now gone, but the penalty points remain. In effect, the punishment for persistent offenders has been as good as removed. Riders can look for a tow, pick up a point here and a point there, and get away scot-free. Meanwhile, Race Direction and the newly appointed FIM MotoGP Panel of Stewards have not been given an alternative for punishing persistent offenders.