Several years ago Dorna or the FIM or both came up with a rider penalty system where a certain number of points were added to a rider’s licence should they be naughty.
The system, which apportioned a fixed number of points for named offences, worked very well until Valentino Rossi nerfed Marc Marquez off at Sepang and the number of points added to his licence meant he had to start from the back of the grid at Valencia, therefore making his challenge for the title at the final race of the year impossible.
Very soon after this, the system was quietly ditched and now someone in an office, who may or may not also be responsible for making tea, decides what penalties should be handed out for misdemeanours or felonies. Problem is there appear to be no guidelines in place for what penalties should be meted out for what crimes.
Jerez WorldSBK was an example. Jonathan Rea was sent to the back of the sprint race grid and was removed from the race one podium for nerfing Alex Lowes. Marco Melandri, who has form for this sort of thing, does the same thing to Chaz Davies in race three and gets a six-place grid penalty.
That, in anyone’s book, is surely bollocks?
The penalty point system - which is still used in BSB so the judicial panel have a fast reference to a rider’s form - worked well until it went against Dorna’s MotoGP cash cow.
It’s time that system, or one very much like it, was put back in place to cover as many eventualties as possible with complete transparency so everyone understands it.