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MotoGP Catalan GP

Vinales first to fall foul of new MotoGP tyre pressure rules

Maverick Vinales has been hit with an official warning from the FIM MotoGP stewards, becoming the first victim of the new tyre pressure rules, at the Catalan Grand Prix.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

For the 2023 season, a new minimum front and rear tyre pressure was implemented, which riders had to keep within for 50% of grands prix and 30% of sprints.

However, this rule did not come into effect until the British Grand Prix last month as the Tyre Pressure Management System was not ready to be used by teams until then. From this weekend’s Catalan GP, the system has been fully automated, with live readings of everyone’s tyre pressures being transmitted.

Following Sunday’s grand prix, in which he was second in a historic Aprilia 1-2 behind team-mate Aleix Espargaro, Vinales was found to have run underneath the minimum tyre pressures. Vinales has been given a warning as a first offence, but a second breach will result in a three-second time penalty.

A statement from the stewards read: “On 3 September 2023 during the MotoGP race of the Gran Premi Monster Enegery de Catalunya you were found running tyre pressures lower than the parameters advices by the official supplier. This contravenes Article 2.4.4.9 of the FIM Grand Prix World Championship regulations.

“For the above reason, the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has imposed on you an official warning according to Article 3.2.1 of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix disciplinary and arbitration code.”

For the rest of this season, a sliding scale of time penalties will be issued to riders contravening this rule. But from next season, any rider who contravenes the tyre pressure rule will be disqualified from the race.

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The stewards have also confirmed that Enea Bastianini will have to serve a long lap penalty in the next grand prix in which he competes, after triggering a multi-rider pile-up on lap one on Sunday.

Bastianini was initially served the punishment prior to the restart of the race, though the Italian did not race having been taken to hospital. The Ducati rider has suffered fractures to his leg and hand.

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