MotoGP’s pit-lane speed limit will be slashed ahead of Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix in order to avoid a repeat of incidents that occurred during last weekend’s ‘flag-to-flag’ race at Brno.
Pit-lane safety was one of the main topics of discussion during Friday evening’s safety commission meeting at the Red Bull Ring, following Andrea Iannone’s crash as he attempted to avoid Aleix Espargaro in the pitlane as riders swapped bikes during the Czech Grand Prix.
Loris Baz also hit one of his mechanics during his bike change, although the crew member was unharmed in the incident.
In order to prevent a repeat of such incidents, MotoGP organisers are examining possible rule changes to avoid further incidents when riders swap bikes during ‘flag-to-flag’ races in mixed conditions.
The first of these, which will be implemented on Sunday, will be to lower the pit-lane speed limit from 60km/h (37mph) to 40km/h (25mph).
This change will apply to all races going forward, but will not be enforced during practice and qualifying sessions on Fridays and Saturdays of Grand Prix weekends.
The prospect of racing in the rain at the Red Bull Ring this weekend was also discussed during the safet commission meeting, with poor grip at Turn 1 in the wet a concern among the MotoGP field.
Several riders have suggested they would not take part should Sunday’s race be held in wet conditions, although current weather forecasts indicate such a scenario is unlikely to occur.