Riders were asked to test a new type of penalisation today at Losail. Up until now, if a rider were to commit a minor infraction or run off track during the race, he would be forced to drop a position. The problem with that method is that the time lost can of course vary from just a few tenths to several seconds.
Hence, at the Qatar track, an external section has been added to the run-off area at turn 6 (shown in the photo). Any rider who commits an infraction will be forced to follow this deviation, which equates to a loss of approximately 3 seconds.
"I don't think it's a bad solution - comments Vinales - You lose of a lot of time but it seems like a very safe solution".
His team-mate Valentino Rossi is also in favour of this: "as with anything new, you have to get used to it. The sanction means losing time yes, while dropping a position could be more or less significant depending on the distance between you and the guy behind. I think this can be a good solution, but I think it's been designed mainly for the Moto2 and Moto3 riders".
An additional Safety Commission meeting was called to evaluate riders' opinions but didn't take place in the end. It is not yet clear whether this option can be used at all tracks because it of course depends on the available space.