MotoGP will enforce track limits at the San Marino Grand Prix, with drivers set to be punished if they gain an advantage from running outside the Kerb.
A number of laps have been deleted throughout the weekend, with riders penalised for running wide at Turn 11 (Curvone) and Turn 16 (Misano), leading many to question the validity of Lorenzo’s final lap, which the reigning world champion called one of the best of his life.
Race Director Mike Webb explained the procedure – “We’ve got the full HD and different cameras in problem places – we know at each circuit where there is likely to be a problem and we’ve got guys, as in more than one person, whose only job is to look at track limits and report back,”.
“What we get is a marshal report, so a marshal with binoculars [says] ‘this rider number’. That then gets referred to the video operators who find the video reply for that exact corner at that exact time and review it backwards and forwards, in slow-mo, whatever they need.”
The judgment is fairly simple. “It’s either in or out, and we need evidence before we do anything, because if it’s a pole lap for example we have to be ready to justify it if a team appeals it. The criteria is – and all of the canceled laps are – both wheels of the bike have to outside of the track and the track is defined by the colors.”
Valentino Rossi says track limits policing was a good step for MotoGP safety
Speaking about it in the post-qualifying press-conference, he said: “It is better like this. Sometimes you have the problem that the lap can be cancelled, for sure more work for the guys [race control] – but for the safety it’s a big improvement.
“If you go too wide from the kerb [at Turn 16] and you touch the dirt, is very dangerous because you are already fast. Sometimes you cancel your lap but for the safety is better, I think it’s a good idea.”
His sentiments were echoed by teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
“I prefer this style, even if it’s more work for race direction, because they have to keep full eyes to see everybody that is not taking advantage, going outside the track,” Lorenzo said.
“It was a little bit dangerous when you were very at the limit on the track, and you could put the rear tyre on the dirt and you could have a very dangerous crash.
“Obviously, we have to analyse if it’s a better system for the future, to control more the rules, but for the moment I prefer [this].”