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In the latter half of 2017, a new flag-to-flag procedure was devised, put in place and tested, with bikes in pit lane now needing to be set in a certain location and at a certain angle as riders come in to change machinery. Although we’ve not yet had a flag-to-flag race since the change in the rules, that plan remains in place for 2018 – and can continue to be tested at the end of FP2 sessions.
That means riders have an extra few minutes to come into pitlane and practice a bike switch. Race Director Mike Webb is confident in the new system, and explains why it was changed:
“The protocols we’ve all seen, they were tested at every race from Silverstone onwards, and they’re to try and make the bike change safer and easier to understand for teams and riders,” says Webb. “We’ve made the new protocols but it’s never been tested in a race. So we’ve written the new rules with all those elements in there that we’ve been testing and we’ve agreed to meet the teams and, if necessary, change some details after we’ve had a test in a race. We think the new system is really good but we’re always open to see if it can be better.”
New regulations in MotoGP™ for the 2018 season