MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
‘And so I flipped him the bird!’
MotoGP is suddenly all afroth about rudeness and lewdness; but does it really matter?
Next week the MotoGP circus heads to Japan, possibly the politest nation on earth, so this may be a good time to investigate MotoGP’s new penalties created to stop riders being rude to each other.
In fact, there’s no specific new rule that punishes riders for making obscene gestures, but there’s a catch-all in the disciplinary code of the MotoGP regulations.
“The FIM has the authority to penalise riders, team personnel, officials, promoters/organisers and all persons involved in any capacity in the championship for any corrupt or fraudulent act, or any action prejudicial to the interests of the sport.”
The first rider punished for acting in a manner “prejudicial to the interests of the sport” was Nicolo Bulega, who was fined 300 Euros for 'flipping the bird' at Jorge Martin during Aragon Moto3 practice (below).
Following Bulega’s punishment I visited the FIM’s permanent MotoGP steward Bill Cumbow in Aragon Race Control. First, I shook my fist at him and then I flipped him the bird. He said the first was fine, the second not so much.
Next I asked him if the 2017 FIM regulations will include a guide to the full range of international offensive gestures, their meanings and penalties incurred. “No,” he grinned. “I think everyone understands where we want to draw the line.”
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.