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GP Week : Issue 47
>>Moto GPnews Race Director: pit stops are punishment enough VALENTINO Rossi’s disastrous French GP might have been slightly less so, but for the stipulation that each pit stop must entail a change to a different tyre combination. He would have had to make only two pit stops – and if still last, he might have been less that two laps behind. Rossi stopped early on the drying track to switch to dry tyres – and promptly crashed. When he nursed that bike to the pits, the crew had his earlier ‘wet’bike ready, but with a slick tyre in the rear. Ideally, it would also have had slicks front and rear, but the regulations demand a change of tyres. As a result, he had to stop once more to change bikes again, in order to get the right tyre combination. A fourth call to the pits was for a ride- through penalty, after he’d broken the pit- lane speed limit on his second exit; the team had neglected to activate the speed-limiter switch. Race director Paul Butler described the third bike change as unnecessary. “We have tried and tried to get the requirement for different tyres removed, but the MSMA won’t budge,”he said. “I believe that having to come into the pits is enough of a penalty in itself – it’s reckoned to be worth about 30 seconds.” The fact that a rider was pitting in any case indicated he had some problem that needed solving. Dictating tyre choice just complicated the issue. Butler clarified another issue. The rules in English require a single tyre changed, but in French the word “tyres”is in the plural. Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess growled: “I don’t read French”, when this was pointed out. Butler confirmed that in MotoGP, unlike many other motor sports, the English version of the regulations took precedence. Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 15