Friday, January 11, 2013

Analyzing MotoGP's New Rules: The Marquez Penalty Points, Price Caps And Dashboard Lights

The meeting of the Grand Prix Commission last week was primarily aimed at doing a little housekeeping, and tidying up a few loose ends. What emerged from that meeting, and from the previous one held at Valencia a month ago, turned out to be a little more than that. Among the many changes announced were a few that point to the series turning down a new, and more sustainable path.

On reading the rule changes, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the official FIM press release containing the minutes may as well have been subtitled "MotoGP Regulations: The Marc Marquez Edition." Though Marquez is not yet twenty years of age, he has already left his mark on the rulebook, many of the new regulations appearing to have been drawn up in response to controversies emerging (rightly or wrongly) from Marquez and his Monlau Competicion Moto2 team.

The biggest change to the rules is the introduction of a penalty points system, aimed at bringing some clarity and consistency into the way that repeat offenders are treated. The rules arose from the debate generated by the treatment of Marquez throughout the year. The Spaniard received a number of warnings for incidents during the 2012 season, starting at Qatar, and his maneuver which forced Tom Luthi off line, passing through his collision with Pol Espargaro at Barcelona, a collision with Mika Kallio at Motegi, and ending with a penalty for an incident with Simone Corsi at Valencia, where he was forced to start from the back of the grid (the penalty did not slow him up much, he still came through most of the field on the first lap and went on to win the race).

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Alex Hofmann Andreas Hofmann Neil Hodgson Hernan Holder

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