Dovi: Run-off 'penalty lane' a good idea

Race Direction asks MotoGP riders to try a new 'penalty lane' during the Qatar test.
Dovi: Run-off 'penalty lane' a good idea

Although he didn't get a chance to try it on the opening night, Andrea Dovizioso said that 'nearly every' MotoGP rider backs the proposed 'penalty lane' being trialled at this weekend's Qatar test.

The lane consists of a marked area in the Turn 6 asphalt run-off. The idea is that, instead of being forced to surrender a place during a race for an infringement such as cutting the course or exceeding track limits, riders could be forced to take the detour.

The advantage of such a system is that the time lost would be much more consistent.

"We spoke in the Safety Commission. I think it's a really good idea. It looks like nearly every rider thinks this is a good idea," Dovizioso said. "And I think for [Race Direction] it could be much better to manage than when you have to drop a position.

"It's more clear what you have to do, what you lose. It's the same for everybody. You know before the weekend.

"I don't know if it's easy to create this situation at every track, but I think it's a good idea. Unfortunately, I didn't test it, but I think the only problem can be that outside the track is dirty, which means slippery.

"But anyway, when you have that penalty, it's because you made a mistake. So at the end, I think it's a good idea."

The Ducati rider, third quickest on Saturday, admitted there could also be a problem when the rider re-joined the track, "but it depends on the corner. I think it's acceptable. It's not easy, but I think it can be a good idea."

Countryman Valentino Rossi, who did try the penalty lane, said: "It's a bit tricky, but it's possible. They say that you lose three seconds. I think a little bit more, but it's not so bad.

"For me, it's more right compared to giving up one position because sometimes if you give up one position, sometimes you lose half a second, but sometimes you lose five seconds.

"So this loop is always the same [time loss], so it's not so bad."