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Poncharal explains the recent GPC changes for 2016

Poncharal explains the recent GPC changes for 2016

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team Principle and President of IRTA Hervé Poncharal explains the recent Grand Prix Commission rule changes.

As IRTA president Poncharal is also a member of the Grand Prix Commission and he chatted exclusively to to give us his thoughts on the recent changes to the regulations:

On the changes to Race Direction:
“What is going to change is that Race Directon will be monitoring the race as it occurs and take decisions on things like when there is speeding in the pit-lane or when a yellow or red flag is needed. But any event requiring proper analysis, like the incident at the final chicane in Assen last year, the last corner at Jerez and obviously what happened in Sepang, will now be dealt with by Mike Webb and two Stewards appointed by the FIM in agreement with Dorna and IRTA. They will be Stewards from the FIM and I think this is a good choice because Dorna always receives a lot of criticism. I can imagine that Carmelo Ezpeleta and his collaborators have had enough of this and I think, after all the exacerbated reactions from last year that it will be a very good thing to have these three people who will decide in an autonomous and independent way, without any conflict in interest. But I do think that 98% of the polemic we had last year was completely unjustified. I think that this decision is a step forward and will mean less opportunity for people who just want to create polemic. We’re heading towards an organization which will be more independent, more autonomous, and that’s why all the Grand Prix Commission agreed on this. The decision was unanimous.”

On the new penalty point system for riders who fail to fulfill their media obligations:
“MotoGP attracts a lot of interest, a lot of people are attending Grands Prix, we need sponsors to exist and it’s only normal that - considering the investment from the sponsors but also from the spectators, who often invest into pit-walk tickets to get closer to their idols, to the bikes and the teams - everybody collaborates to create the best show we can make. Of course in our sport the stars are the riders and they need to understand that they have an obligation not only towards the media, but also the fans and the sponsors. The Grand Prix Commission just wanted to clarify this. I think that everyone usually plays his part and shows good will, but sometimes it’s good to have it written in black and white. We all know that we can’t ask too much from our riders, but there a minimum to give back to the people who support us, without which we wouldn’t exist and be able to live out our passion, whether as a team or rider. We just wanted to write that down but all of this already existed. It’s for all the riders. Obviously, the more success you have, the more invitations you get and the less inclined you are to answer them. We wanted to remind everybody that everyone, teams and riders, need to work together to meet the expectations of the spectators, the fans, the media, the sponsors… all of the people that make the MotoGP circus possible.”

On the addition of compulsory tyre pressure sensors in MotoGP™:
“Another thing we decided with the Grand Prix Commission, and I’m glad we did, is that we are going to have compulsory pressure sensors for the rear tyres in MotoGP. We have clearly had some technical difficulties in this department, but sometimes problems can lead to good things. I’m glad that Loris (Baz) was completely unhurt after a crash that could have had dramatic consequences, but it is what happened there that allowed us to identify an issue we were trying to solve for some time now and led to everyone to agreeing on a solution. We need to be able to check tyre pressure at all times and in order to do so we need pressure sensors. It’s very important to increase safety and even if it’s a less talked-about topic, it’s a very important and very positive decision we made in Geneva.”

MotoGP, 2016

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