MotoGP raises pitlane safety for flag-to-flag pitstop races

MotoGP mechanics will be required to wear helmets when assisting riders with bike changes in flag-to-flag races from 2017

MotoGP raises pitlane safety for flag-to-flag pitstop races

A decision made by the grand prix commission at Brno will also reduce the number of personnel present for each bike change to a maximum of four.

Riders highlighted the need for safety improvements following the flag-to-flag race in Argentina earlier this year, in which Alvaro Bautista hit one of his Aprilia mechanics.

While those circumstances were shaped by concerns over Michelin tyres, the format was used at the Sachsenring last month in a drying German Grand Prix, and bike changes could have also been required at Assen, if not for the mid-race red flag.

"For safety reasons and to reduce the number of people in pitlane during machine changes, each rider may only be assisted by a maximum of four mechanics," a statement read.

"Such mechanics must all wear an approved crash helmet which will also help to identify the authorised staff."

Following some conjecture around Marc Marquez's rapid swap at the Sachsenring, and ultimately misplaced suggestions a mechanic had engaged first gear on his Honda, the rules on that front have also been clarified.

"To avoid the possibility of accidental engagement of a gear during the machine change the mechanic holding the replacement machine may hold in the clutch lever," the statement added.

"However, actual selection of the gear can only be made by the rider.

"Breach of this regulation, which can be determined from ECU data, will result in automatic disqualification."

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