The absolute chaos caused by the FIM stewards with the track limits
A former MotoGP rider, as a co-commentator after the embarrassing incidents in Mugello, got to the point when he said into the microphone “these track limits rules should be abolished, these are for the very least!” (we are not giving literally everything he said here.). In the paddock, a majority of the voices are of the opinion that this controversial regulation was only instrumented by the FIM so that it can demonstrate its power and manipulate results at will afterwards. Actually, it doesn’t really matter whether this opinion is correct or not. Because there is traditionally no “in and out” in motorsport like in ball games, at least before this completely nonsensical innovation was introduced. In addition, a few centimetres inside or outside the green marked (what an original colour scheme for a forbidden area of the route!) Do not bring the driver any advantages. This is what Alex Hofmann said, and most of the active drivers agree with him.
Also introduced in WorldSBK and immediately met with resistance
In the near-series World Championship, the same nonsense was reintroduced for this season. Since then, we have not heard from any driver who agrees with this new rule. On the contrary, all the pilots affected so far criticized this regulation. Most of them also argue similarly to Alex Hofmann. At over 300 kph in some cases, it would be almost impossible for a driver to try to observe certain newly introduced limitations with an artificial narrowing of the racetrack width. At most, long-lap penalties are something that can be considered as a possible alternative to time penalties after the race. If a driver drives off the track, he usually loses time and does not win any and for years there have been clear rules for taking shortcuts in chicanes or the like. The driver must then voluntarily drop back to the previous position, otherwise he will be punished.
The prime example of arbitrary use in Mugello
If you saw Joe Roberts in 3rd position after the Moto2 finish, your eyes were not malfunctioning. It was first reported that way, but shortly afterwards the FIM officials struck mercilessly. The US boy was suddenly communicated as fourth and a fade-in showed how he had driven a few centimeters over the green-coloured area in the last lap. One can imagine the reaction of the person concerned, and we do not need to quote his first words at this point. But then the blast followed and of all people the stewards were supposed to demonstrate publicly after the MotoGP race how they interpreted their own regulations completely arbitrarily a little later and overruled them for no plausible reason. It was also interesting how little co-commentator Hofmann was interested in on this occasion, it wasn’t about KTM and thus about the team for which he was last test driver before he finally resigned as a driver.
The regulations on the track limits and the inconsistent application of the FIM
It must be a disadvantage for the driver if he violates this rule, where the wording of the regulations. After the MotoGP race, however, it finally got ridiculous. Shortly after crossing the finish line on position 2 in front of Joan Mir and Johann Zarco, the bad news came for KTM and Miguel Oliveira after the first podium. Relocated for disregarding track limits. This was followed by a fade-in in exactly the same place where Roberts was punished for the same “offence” a race before. But then came the absolute hammer. Suddenly, the stewards allegedly also found that Joan Mir was also just short of the green area.
The questionable decision beyond any previously applied logic
So everything is clear, both of them moved one position back and Zarco one forward or two at the same time? Not the bean and far from it. The hair-raising unjust decision of the FIM stewards was to lift the punishment of both drivers on P2 and 3 and the Frenchman stayed in 4th place. This stinks, and we understand and fully agree with some comments made by French colleagues. With such arbitrariness it almost doesn’t matter what kind of questionable new regulations the FIM introduces, they interpret it absolutely arbitrarily anyway. Sadly, there is no higher authority that can put a stop to this nonsense.
Like a common thread – the arbitrariness of the FIM stewards
Interestingly, Spaniards or Italians mostly benefit from the one-sided interpretation of the regulations. In the case of Moto2, it was an American, Roberts, who was punished in favour of Bezzecchi. In the case of Zarco, it was a Frenchman who could not benefit from a consistent application, while Joan Mir was not punished. It happened in the previous year, Pol Espargaró had knocked Johann Zarco on the inside in turn 1 in Brno and fell from the outside. However, it was not the Spaniard who was punished, but the man from Cannes who was on the ideal line received a long-lap penalty. A little later, Pol even overthrew his own team-mate with a similar action, but the FIM refrained from punishing the Spaniard. The one-sided application of generally questionable regulations by the FIM stewards runs like a red thread through history.
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