Brake protectors now mandatory in MotoGP

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Every machine racing in all three classes in next year’s MotoGP world championship must be fitted with a brake protector to try and prevent accidents similar to the multi-rider pile-up at the first corner in Catalunya back in 2006.

Loris Capirossi, Randy de Puniet, Dani Pedrosa and Marco Melandri were all involved in a high-speed incident caused when the front brake lever of Sete Gibernau’s factory Ducati jammed on Capirossi’s bike.

Gibernau was pitched violently over the handlebars of his Desmosedici and the chain reaction saw several riders involved.

Spaniard Hector Barbera was also involved in an incident with late Italian Marco Simoncelli during the 2008 Mugello 250GP when his front brake was jammed on while the pair were dicing at full speed on the start/finish straight.

Brake guards have been used by some riders before, including Briton Scott Redding and former Moto2 world champion Toni Elias.

But now a brake guard is a mandatory requirement and a statement from the FIM today said: "Motorcycles must be equipped with brake lever protection, intended to protect the handlebar brake lever(s) from being accidentally activated in case of collision with another machine. Acceptable protection includes the fairing extending sufficiently to cover the brake lever, as viewed from the front.

"Such devices must be strong enough to function effectively and designed so that there is no risk for the rider to be injured or trapped by it, and it must not be considered a dangerous fitting (at the sole discretion of the Technical Director). In case the brake lever protection is attached to any part of the braking system (eg. brake master cylinder), then the brake system manufacturer must officially confirm in writing to the Technical Director that the device does not interfere with the proper brake operation."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt