The MotoGP’s Grand Prix Commission met last week to discuss the 2017 season and plan for the 2018 campaign. There were several rule changes, and some other interesting gossip to come out.
First off, the biggest news is likely KTM’s plan to put a wild card entry into five races next year. KTM is planning to run a full-bore MotoGP campaign in 2019, so this is just a chance to get test pilot Mika Kallio to put down some hot laps and see what needs tweaking on the prototype, before it gets its full-season baptism by fire.
The other big news is that MotoGP has approved team-to-rider communication via the motorcycle’s dashboard. Before, Race Direction was allowed to communicate over the dashboard comms system, but not the team. Now, teams will be allowed to do the same, but the message must be the same as displayed on the team’s pitboard, so how much use the new rule will be to riders is debatable.
Other changes included new rules on which wheels are acceptable, and new team championships in Moto2 and Moto3. There will also be awards for the top independent rider and team in MotoGP. See the entire press release below:
Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission on November 29th
New Championships, wild card rules and more
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 Vito Ippolito (FIM President), Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), Mike Webb (Race Director), Danny Aldridge (Technical Director), Fabio Muner (FIM) and Steve Aeschlimann (FIM), in a meeting held in Mies, Switzerland on 29 November 2017, made the following decisions:
Technical Regulations – effective Season 2018
Road Racing Wheels
New proposals for the testing and approval of road racing wheels were confirmed. Details can be seen in the updated technical regulations.
Virtual Pit Board Signals
In the 2018 season teams will continue to have the ability to send messages to the dashboard of the rider using the same system as already in place for Race Direction messages, as some of them have been doing towards the end of the 2017 season. Regulations have now been introduced to ensure that teams using this system comply with the protocols issued by Dorna timekeeping. The main requirement is that any message sent to a rider dashboard must be precisely replicated in the message received simultaneously by Dorna timekeeping and TV.
Sporting Regulations – effective Season 2018
New Championships and Classifications
There currently exists an FIM World Championship for MotoGP™ class teams. Two new FIM World Championships have now been introduced for Moto3™ and Moto2™ teams. Results will be based on the combined points of all riders in the team including substitutes and replacements.
Awards will also be introduced to recognise the highest ranked Independent Team in the MotoGP™ class and the highest ranked rider in an Independent MotoGP™ class team. These will not be World Championships but eligible teams and riders will compete for:
– MotoGP™ Class Independent Team Trophy
– MotoGP™ Class Independent Team Rider Trophy
MotoGP™ Class Wild Card Entries
An application from KTM to enter Mika Kallio as a wild card entry in the MotoGP™ class in five 2018 events was approved. The events are those in Spain (Jerez), Catalunya, Germany, Austria and Aragon. Teams using machines from Manufacturers with concessions have the right to have six wild card entries per season as opposed to only three. It has been decided that if a Manufacturer loses its concessions, this right won’t be revoked till the following season.
Best Grand Prix of 2017
The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang was chosen as winner of the best Grand Prix of 2017.
Insurance for Permanent Pass Holders
For several years, holders of permanent working passes have been insured in case of accidental death whilst travelling to or from an event or actually during the event. With effect from 2018 this policy is being extended to cover up to €100,000 of medical or repatriation costs of holders of all permanent working passes; IRTA, Dorna, FIM and Media. This cover will include the pre-season official tests in and outside of Europe.
The premium for this new arrangement will continue to be paid by the FIM.