Tire Issues Force MotoGP Rule Changes
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia – For the first time in MotoGP history, bike changes will be required in Sunday’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
With a new race distance of 19 laps, all riders will be required to change bikes during the race.
The change came courtesy of an announcement from Race Direction after qualifying on Saturday, with Bridgestone having announced that it is unable to guarantee the safety of its rear slick tyres beyond ten laps.
The following changes were made to the rule for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix:
1. The race distance will be 19 laps (originally scheduled to be 27).
2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race. In normal circumstances this means that the rider must change machine only at the end of lap nine or lap 10.
3. No rider is permitted to do more than ten laps on any one slick or wet rear tyre. This means that a bike/tire change before lap nine would require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race.
4. The above procedure is valid for a dry race or a race that starts in wet conditions. Clearly in a wet race the rider will change to a bike with wet tires.
5. If the race is started in dry conditions and it then rains the race will be stopped with a red flag. The restarted race will be for the number of laps required to complete 19 laps, but with a maximum of ten laps and a minimum of five laps.
6. Riders using ‘Factory’ and ‘Satellite’ machines will be required to use the ‘hard’ option tyre (B51DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.
7. Riders using CRT machines will be required to use the CRT ‘hard’ option tyre (B50DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.
8. The pit lane speed limit zone will be extended both on entry and exit and the exit route to rejoin the track will be marked by a white line in the runoff area. Crossing this line whilst rejoining the track from pit lane will result in a penalty.