MotoGP drops its penalty points system with immediate effect
|By Mitchell Adam||Wednesday, March 29th 2017, 15:30 GMT|
MotoGP has dropped the penalty-points system that had been used by officials since 2013.
The system was introduced in a bid to deliver judicial consistency, and has been tweaked several times in recent years.
Its most-famous application was sending Valentino Rossi to the rear of the grid for the 2015 Valencia finale, after the title contender's infamous clash with Marc Marquez at Sepang triggered an interim penalty for reaching four points.
A one-race ban for a rider hitting 10 points in a 12-month period remained, but the interim rear-of-grid and pitlane start penalties were removed for 2016.
Stewards also retained the scope to penalise riders at their discretion, highlighted by Andrea Iannone's rear-of-grid start at Assen after collecting Jorge Lorenzo at Barcelona, his second punishable offence in six early-season races.
With those options, the Grand Prix Commission decided during the Qatar Grand Prix weekend that "penalty points were no longer necessary", with the system scrapped effective immediately.
Rules around pitlane safety in qualifying have also been tweaked, with teams now allowed six crew members - all wearing helmets - in pitlane to help with bike swaps.
The number remains at four mechanics during flag-to-flag races, with helmets a new-for-2017 requirement.