MotoGP chiefs warn of changes for 2016 after Rossi/Marquez clash

MotoGP riders have been warned there will be "changes" in 2016 to prevent a repeat of the controversy that erupted following Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez's Sepang clash

MotoGP chiefs warn of changes for 2016 after Rossi/Marquez clash

In an extraordinary meeting ahead of this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix with the entire 2015 field and all team managers, FIM president Vito Ippolito and Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta urged the riders to carefully consider their actions both on track and off it in the wake of the Rossi/Marquez furore.

Prior to the collision between the two riders at Sepang, Rossi had publicly accused Marquez of trying to hamper his title bid in the previous event at Phillip Island.

The fallout from the clash and Rossi's consequent penalty has polarised MotoGP's fanbase, and included further controversies such as an altercation involving an Italian television crew at Marquez's house.

Ippolito and Ezpeleta - who make up MotoGP's 'permanent bureau' - said events had "surpassed the limits of a healthy passion and, on occasions, logic itself".

Their address to the meeting added: "We would like to emphasise that for next year, some changes will be made to prevent this from happening again.

"We also want to remind you of the values of our sport: exemplarity, fair play, sportsmanship and courtesy.

"Our officials will be vigilant in observing the fair play and sporting behaviour of every one of you and will be very strict with any infringement of our sporting rules."

The series chiefs underlined that riders should remember their positions as role models.

"You have millions of followers all around the world," they said.

"They watch and admire your achievements on the track. And they also listen closely to what you say.

"What you do and say could have consequences that are not in keeping with the noble values of our sport."

Rossi will start from the back of the grid at Valencia as the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his bid for a stay of execution over the penalty he was given for the clash with Marquez.

He goes into the title-decider with a seven-point lead over rival and Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

THE PERMANENT BUREAU'S ADDRESS IN FULL:

First and foremost, sport must prevail. This Sunday is the last race of the year, and it is sport that needs to win.

We are proud of the magnificent races you have given us this year. They continue to foster interest in our championship all around the world. We also want to thank you for that.

Over the past days, there have unfortunately been some controversies that have surpassed the limits of a healthy passion and, on occasions, logic itself. You have millions of followers all around the world. They watch and admire your achievements on the track. And they also listen closely to what you say.

What you do and say could have consequences that are not in keeping with the noble values of our sport.

In the name of the Permanent Bureau, the FIM and the promoter, Dorna, I would like to remind you that we are the only sporting organisation in the world that draws up its regulations for one of its flagship Championships with the agreement of all parties.

That is the role of the Grand Prix Commission, where the FIM, Dorna, MSMA and IRTA are all represented. We know that the rules can always be improved, and having said that, I repeat that every change will be made with the consent of those concerned.

In addition to the GP Commission, we have also set up the Safety Commission, in which riders are consulted on a regular basis about safety issues. Here too we are pioneers in the world of motorsport.

Once again, we want you to be aware that we intend to pursue our policy of keeping the doors open in order to hear your opinions and to allow you to contribute to making this great championship even better. We would like to emphasise, that for next year, some changes will be made to prevent this from happening again.

We also want to remind you of the values of our sport: exemplarity, fair play, sportsmanship and courtesy. Our officials will be vigilant in observing the fair play and sporting behaviour of every one of you and will be very strict with any infringement of our sporting rules.

We must remember that we organise and practise sport at the professional level, not only because it is entertaining and extraordinary but also to showcase the values we believe in. The next race will be broadcast live and followed by a very large number of spectators.

We therefore have ahead of us a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the world the highest values of our sport, and in so doing, to set a great example. We would also like to assure everybody that this weekend we will pay even more attention to what occurs on the track for the benefit of the sport.

Thank you all and have a good race!

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