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MotoGP: New flag to flag system to be tested in FP2

Published: 24 August 2017

Updated: 24 August 2017

MotoGP riders will trial a new flag-to-flag pit-stop system following the second free practice session tomorrow after concerns raised during the Czech Grand Prix earlier this month.

The calls came after Andrea Iannone locked the front in pit-lane trying to avoid Aleix Espargaro and Loris Baz’s machine collided with a mechanic in the flag-to-flag bike changes.

Riders discussed various proposals to change the system in the safety commission last time out at Brno, but Marc Marquez confirmed today that the riders were unable to reach consensus on what the changes should be.

“We’ll test a new system in FP2,” he revealed. “After that we will see. On paper, I don’t like it, but we’ll try it and then I’ll give my opinion.”

The new system to which he refers involves riders heading in towards their pit box and then out at a ninety-degree after a mechanic with a Formula 1-style lollipop permits pit exit to avoid potential collisions instead of the current ‘hop-and-go’ system with the two bikes parallel outside the garage.

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However, some riders have already hit out at the new system, including Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who doesn’t think there needs to be change.

“The lollipop stick adds an extra man in pit-lane we don’t currently have or need,” he said. “And at the new angle, if you lock the front then you’ll take out all the guests in the garage!

“I don’t think they should change it. If you crash in pit lane it’s your own fault. If I crash in pit lane it’s my own fault. If it’s safer or not, we race motorcycles! If the mechanics don’t want to be in the pit lane teams can put another mechanic in the pit lane. I’ve never seen a mechanic say that. For me, it’s part of racing. If you make a great pit stop without crashing and get out the fastest and win the race then you’ve done a good job.” 

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