Jump-start penalty, Jerez test to remain

'Most of the riders agreed that it is fair to keep it like this until the end of the year' - Cal Crutchlow, Spanish MotoGP.
Jump-start penalty, Jerez test to remain

MotoGP riders will continue to receive a pit lane ride-though penalty for any movement on the starting grid as the red lights go out.

There had been calls to reduce the roughly 30-second punishment for marginal jump starts to the lesser Long Lap penalty (2-3 seconds).

However three riders - Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) - have already received the ride-through punishment this year and felt it would be unfair to change the rules until next season.

"The agreement is me, Mir and Vinales decided to keep the rule as it is now and maybe it change it next year," said Crutchlow. "But this year it won't change. If you jump the start [by any amount], you get a ride through.

"Because now there have been three riders [punished with a ride through] and, if then the other riders jump the start and just do the Long Lap they are at an advantage compared to us.

"I think most of the riders agreed that it is fair to keep it like this until the end of the year.

"A couple of riders didn't agree of course, but at the end of the day I have the risk also to go through the pit lane again as well. Of course I would prefer to do the Long Lap, but say somebody jumped the start later in the year and we are close on points…

"I think it was the correct decision. I made the decision with the team, and then also they had to ask the other two teams as well. That was the outcome."

One decision Crutchlow is less satisfied with is that there will once again be a test session held at Jerez at the end of November. The Englishman is planning to have metalwork removed from his healing ankle once the season is over and thought it had been agreed not to test.

"All the riders are pissed off [because] we have to test here at the end of the year, and last year we agreed in the Safety Commission - all the riders agreed except Tito, because he loves to ride around, he didn't care or not - all the rest want to go on holiday. And now we have to test here.

"We got told last year, 100% that the last test [would be Valencia]. We agreed and then the teams ruled against us. So we've all got to go and ask our teams not to test [at Jerez], but it's not going to happen is it? They'll just laugh at us.

"We didn't want to test in November because we want to go on holiday or do what we want to do and I want an extra 10 days recovery on my ankle."

Crutchlow's solution:

"Send the test riders! They [the manufacturers] all pay test riders a fortune. 3-4-500 grand. More, a million in some cases it used to be. The test riders should ride! It's what they are paid for. Pound-for-pound about two years some of the test riders were getting more than anyone in the paddock…"