New stewards' panel for MotoGP after Rossi/Marquez controversy

MotoGP is to introduce a new stewards' panel to rule on rider infractions in the wake of the Valentino Rossi/Marc Marquez controversy at the end of 2015

New stewards' panel for MotoGP after Rossi/Marquez controversy

The championship's penalty system came under scrutiny amid the controversies in last season's title fight, with Rossi given three penalty points for his clash with Marquez in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Added to penalty points for misdemeanours earlier in the season, that led to Rossi starting the title-deciding Valencia GP from the back.

At a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Geneva on Friday, it was decided to separate out the race direction and stewarding systems and create a new panel.

Existing race director Mike Webb will be on the panel.

Vito Ippolito, present of governing body the FIM, said: "We want to let race direction focus on managing the races because there are a lot of responsibilities and delicate matters to do.

"We want to let them be free to manage the race but not to involve them anymore with the task of penalising riders. It needs more time and special dedication.

"On the other side we will have the panel of three stewards.

"It will be the current race director who is Mike Webb and two more stewards from the FIM.

"One of them possibily also a permanent steward as we think with this structure, with this panel of stewards completely dedicated to judge the behaviour of riders during the races and practice, we can achieve a very high level of decisions."

Ippolito said the penalty points system itself was up for a rethink.

The current system is similar to that used in Formula 1, and can lead to riders receiving grid demotions or even race bans as they accrue points for infractions.

"We have a wide range of penalties, enough to let the judge decide which kind of penalty can apply best," Ippolito said.

"Of course we used during the last few years a penalty point system but right now this is under discussion.

"We'll have the final decision as to whether we continue to use that or whether we change it or if we use it at all."

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