The flag-to-flag controversy, a sterile debate in MotoGP - Motor Informed
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The flag-to-flag controversy, a sterile debate in MotoGP

On Sunday, Le Mans hosted the primary flag-to-flag race in 4 years, and it’s clear that the present didn’t disappoint supporters of this spectacular format. The pit lane instantly received dizzy at the beginning of lap six, when nearly all of the riders drove by to vary bikes, swapping a machine set for dry for one suited to the now moist monitor. One minute and 23 seconds elapsed between the second the primary of them entered the pit lane and the second the final one returned to the monitor.

As is usually the case in this type of case, we have been capable of witness some shocking scenes. It should be stated that, out of the 22 riders who took half within the French Grand Prix, 11 had by no means needed to observe this modification of bike in the midst of the race, which can clarify some confusion for a few of them.

Fabio Quartararo, for instance, blended his brushes in entrance of the Yamaha stand, getting off his bike in entrance of the mechanics of Maverick Viñales, which price him a while and earned him a penalty. As for Joan Mir, who fell simply earlier than having the ability to attain the pitlane, he left the scene of his fall by operating as a substitute of recovering his motorbike to succeed in the Suzuki stand, once more breaking the principles.

He additionally fell, Franco Morbidelli for his half received off the stretcher on which he had been positioned to attempt in any respect prices to get again within the saddle and return to the stand when he felt the rain, however it was with the stroller – helped particularly by his workforce supervisor – that he was introduced again to the Petronas SRT stand, narrowly prevented by Maverick Viñales or Jack Miller, future winner. Miller in the meantime obtained a double penalty for exceeding the approved pace restrict within the pitlane, identical to his teammate, Pecco Bagnaia.

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After the race, many drivers gave their opinion on the tactic put in place by the organizers to cope with the troublesome climate situations noticed on Sunday, and most of them have been adamant: the flag-to-flag is a harmful observe. However not a lot as a result of all of them flock to the pitlane and must get off one motorbike to leap on the opposite in a minimal of time, however particularly given the time they must spend on moist asphalt when their bikes are all the time fitted with slick tires.

The one driver on the present grid to have been current in 2005 when this rule was launched, Valentino Rossi is a kind of in whose eyes she finds no favor, although it earned her her final victory. “Personally, I do not like flag-to-flag races as a result of they’re extra harmful… Greater than a matter of stress, it is a matter of problem. And it is extra harmful as a result of it must be trip slick tires within the moist or vice versa “, he defined.

“In case you are on the monitor with moist tires and it dries out, it’s not very harmful”, he clarified. That is with the slicks it is harmful. They’re slick tires that do not maintain water, and they are much stiffer tires, so when there’s a little bit water on the bottom it will get fairly harmful. It will depend on how a lot it rains. If it rains a little bit and the slicks are scorching, you’ll be able to simply get into the pit. Then again, if it rains quite a bit and it is a deluge, you need to come again to the stand very slowly, gently, gently. When there may be already water on the bottom, the tire is already slick, it doesn’t discharge, you’ll be able to simply go into aquaplaning and haven’t any grip. “

“Folks cannot think about how harmful it’s to trip a MotoGP on slick tires in moist situations. You possibly can fall even when the bike is straight, and I do not like that. I do not assume it’s. good for our sport “, added Pol Espargaró. Nevertheless, the Honda rider conceded that there was little or no room for maneuver to change the principles on this level, using the crimson flag as in Moto2 or Moto3 being unrealistic: “We’re a little bit tied hand and foot. We rely on a tv program that units all the rules, so now we have to do a flag-to-flag as a result of we can not delay the race an excessive amount of.”

Much less essential than his elders, Álex Márquez found this format at Le Mans and, for him, the important thing lies in adaptation and anticipation so as to make one of the best resolution in keeping with the second and the monitor situations. “It’s clear that it’s riskier than a traditional race, however it’s much more dangerous to determine to suit slick tires in qualifying whereas the monitor continues to be half moist”, identified the younger Spanish pilot. “Within the lap earlier than going again in, we take loads of dangers, however we’re right here to placed on a present and these races enable us to see who has tailored greatest at every second.”

Lately, the methodology imposed for motorbike adjustments has been refined in an try to make the maneuver as protected as attainable. Following the incident involving Álvaro Bautista on the 2016 Argentine Grand Prix, the place he knocked down considered one of his mechanics whereas sliding on the moist floor in entrance of his pit, all personnel approved to be within the pitlane are required to to put on a helmet. Markings have additionally been positioned on the bottom to point the place every pilot should place himself on the entrance to his field. It’s also forbidden to leap from one motorcycle to a different with out placing your foot on the bottom, and it has been outlined the place to go away a motorcycle and learn how to begin with the second. An entire bunch of updates and particulars aimed toward maximizing the safety of a section that is still, no matter occurs, delicate.

Loris Capirossi, consultant of the Dorna to the race administration, for his half considers that there’s nothing safer than the present rule. “Lately, now we have studied all attainable formulation, and we imagine that the present flag-to-flag methodology is essentially the most appropriate and the most secure. In Grands Prix just like the one at Le Mans, all of the drivers enter on the similar time. time and it’s regular for the much less skilled to make errors “, believes the previous driver, whose final victory, obtained at Motegi in 2007, coincided with a flag-to-flag race. “We can not create an infrastructure that we can not then check for 3 years. For me, the rules are superb as they’re.”

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