FIM unhappy over Misano start mess

FIM president Vito Ippolito has criticised Misano's race directors following the chaotic start procedure that contributed to Dani Pedrosa's early exit from the San Marino Grand Prix

In scenes verging on farce, race organisers cancelled the original start after a clutch issue on Karel Abraham's Cardion Ducati, allowed team personnel to rejoin the grid en masse, and then issued a sudden one-minute warning.

Amid what he later deemed 'total chaos', Pedrosa's Honda squad had difficulty removing his front tyre warmer after the wheel jammed.

The delay rectifying the issue meant he failed to comply with pre-race regulations, forced him to start from the back and ultimately contributed to his Turn 6 exit as he fought to come through the field.

Ippolito, president of MotoGP's sanctioning body, said race direction had been at fault both by halting the initial start and then by allowing too many team personnel back onto the grid.

"We had already seen all sort of stuff: once a race director even activated the starting lights because he leaned on the button with his elbow; but we have never seen something like this," he told Motosprint.

"It had never happened that the race got stopped when the start was about to be given.

"At this point everyone was taken by surprise and the biggest mistake was made: the track was opened and the starting procedure got re-activated, thus allowing many people to get close to the bikes and the riders.

"Instead, only the mechanics with the starters were supposed to be allowed to enter, and then the start would be given.

"At that point the message 'one minute to the start' would have been understood by everyone immediately, and the problem with the tyre warmers wouldn't have happened."

Speaking about the procedure, Pedrosa added: "All of a sudden we found ourselves in total confusion, because the mechanics entered the track and no one from race direction informed us in a timely manner about restart times.

"So my mechanics fitted the tyre warmers. At one point, all of a sudden, they came to tell us: 'The start is in one minute, come on, clear the track!'.

"While my mechanics were trying to take off the tyre warmers something happened, the front one got stuck.

"I started the formation lap, but when I arrived on the grid I was stopped and ordered to get on the last row, in the last spot.

"My team infringed the rules: you can't work on a bike within one minute before the start. Yes, they did tell us, but that communication was too sudden and wild."

As a result of his exit, and Jorge Lorenzo's subsequent victory, Pedrosa now trails his Yamaha rival by 38 points with five races to run.