Veteran crew chief brands MotoGP warm-up cuts ‘ridiculous’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

MotoGP bosses today announced that vital Sunday morning warm-up sessions for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes would be cut from the weekend schedule - a move that veteran crew chief Mark Woodage has said is ‘ridiculous’ on safety grounds.

In order to facilitate the new Sprint race weekend format, warm-up for the support classes will vanish and be replaced by an hour-long rider fan show instead, which takes place after MotoGP has its warm-up.

“It is ridiculous. If a rider crashes in qualifying, it is always good to go out in the morning to check the bike, check the bars are straight, there are no kinks in the brake lines, that sort of thing,” Woodage told bikesportnews.com.

“You don’t want to start a formation lap and find out you have an electrical issue or a quickshifter failure or a brake issue,” continued Woodage, who counts Noriyuki Haga, John McPhee, Tommy Hill, Ayuma Sasaki and Jake Dixon among his riders.

“It is definitely always good to check a motorcycle after an incident and warm-up is the time to do this. Without it, there is a safefy aspect going straight into race. I think every rider needs to go out in the morning and put their helmet on for five laps just to reset the brain.

“On the grounds of safety, it is ridiculous,” he added. “Warm-up can also be used to bed in a set of pads, a chain, a clutch. This has now been taken away and will have to be done in the session before, which is qualifying or even free practice three.

“There is going to be an extra strain on mechanics to add in these parts, take them out for qualifying and then back in again. For me, a warm-up is definitely more beneficial than a 30-minute parade in cars.”