MotoGP: Dashboard messages permitted for 2018
MotoGP’s rulemaking body the Grand Prix Commission have announced plans to allow the sending of messages from pit to rider during races, extending technology first introduced to notify riders of safety messages in a decision that could mark a major change in the way many races play out.
Speaking in a statement released ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, the GPC clarified their new ruling.
It has already been confirmed that machines in the Moto3 and MotoGP class must have the dashboard facility to display text messages, linked to the current warning lights, with effect from 2018. This will also apply to the Moto2 class from 2019. The GPC have now confirmed the precise list of messages that will be sent with the warning lights by Race Direction.
Some teams already have the facility on their machine dashboards to receive text messages and, following approval from the Safety Commission, the GPC confirmed that such teams may already use this facility as a ‘virtual pit board.’ This does not require any amendments to existing regulations.
As the GPC has stated, some teams have already been experimenting with the technology so far this year, with the ability to send short messages to riders on track. This can include anything from lap times to safety instructions and race information.
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Traditionally, the only communication allowed between team and rider during a race has been through the use of pit boards, but some in the paddock are concerned that the new messages system (which cannot be seen by competitors) will lead to more complex strategies in races – especially in wet and flag-to-flag conditions.