Recent rule changes announced by the MotoGP Grand Prix Commission included official confirmation that the new automatic accident warning system to alert following riders of an impending incident will be developed in Moto3 “race situations” this season.
While the exact operation of the system, created in response to a series of tragic deaths in the Moto3/SSP300 classes last season, has yet to be explained, it is believed that once an accident has been detected, the rear rain lights of nearby machines will flash to warn those arriving on the scene.
In normal use in wet weather, the rear rain lights illuminate but do not flash. The MotoGP class tested the visibility of flashing rain lights in bright sunshine during Friday practice at Portimao last year. Most riders reported that the flashing rain lights were still visible, although some were easier to see than others because of their position on the bike.
Additional warning lights on the bike and/or rider equipment are also possible to maximize the effectiveness of the new warning system. The development of the MotoGP World Championship’s new “automatic warning system” will be carried out by the Moto3 class “in race situations in 2022”.
“In order to facilitate the introduction of an automatic warning system for riders approaching an accident scene, certain changes to the electronics must be made, including the enforcement and standardization of the DellOrto 6-axis IMU and 2D’s BC-OUT_RL-300 power module,” states an amendment to the 2023 Moto3 Technical Regulations.
“Modified equipment and systems will be effective from 2023. However, the development of the technology will be carried out in race situations in 2022.”
The “enforcement and standardization” of the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, consisting of gyroscopes and accelerometers) indicates that it will be involved in the detection of an accident. The “development of the technology” in racing situations could range from data collection to full system testing.
The current dashboard messaging system used at the Grand Prix is unidirectional, meaning signals are relayed from race control to the bikes. The new warning system requires a change in the communications infrastructure so that a signal from an overturned bike can either be transmitted directly to other machines or bounce through a nearby track marshal and/or race control.
The mandate for the new system was to “provide automatic, near-instantaneous warning systems for all subsequent riders/bikes … [that] must be applicable to championships at all levels, including Talent Cups.” While Moto3 will have modified equipment and systems starting in 2023, a timetable for Moto2, MotoGP and other two-wheel classes has not yet been confirmed.
In a separate announcement, Moto2 and Moto3 teams will now be allowed to keep unused tires from race events for training purposes instead of returning them to Dunlop. The decision was made “because it is impossible to determine the source and specification of race tires used by riders for training on non-GP specification machines.”
It also means that teams will only receive brand new tires in their allocation for events. No tires will be allocated beforehand and may be subject to tire warming.