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GP Week : Issue 91
With only 13 starters, the German GP grid was the smallest in modern racing. Luckily the Sachsenring is a short track, otherwise it would have been a really sparse display for the 98,477 fans. Especially when Kallio crashed out on the first corner, reducing the numbers to a round dozen. There could have been two more. Although de Puniet was injured, both Espargaro and Bautista were ready to restart on spare bikes. They were not allowed to, because they had not returned to the pits within five minutes with their machines. Both of which, by the way, were unrideable, so it was an impossible task. With grids already so small, why should the riders and fans be cheated in this way? Race Director Paul Butler explained the origin of the rule ... after 125 rider Thomas Luthi triggered a crash at Motegi. The race was stopped and results taken from the previous lap ... making Luthi the winner. He would go on to take the title. "The rule was at the request of the teams, so a rider who causes a race stoppage should not be rewarded," said Butler. The thinking was that if the race had not been red flagged, those who crashed would not have been able to continue anyway ... so why should they restart? Current circumstances, however, meant that the same rule was highly counter-productive. "If there is an opinion now that the rule is wrong, we will discuss changing it," said Butler. "We are nothing if not flexible. Twist in rules cheats riders and fans Moto GP DEUTSCHLAND >> 33