2013 has a new qualifying system for the MotoGP category which will make all practice sessions challenging for the riders as well as interesting for the fans and media with a new 15minute Qualifying shootout for pole. The Qualifying session has divided into two 15 minutes sessions Q1 & Q2, one for the slower bikes and the other for the fastest top 10 in the practice.
How it works?
The new system has 4 Free Practice Sessions and two different qualifying sessions. The best times from the first 3 free practice sessions will be countable to make the cut into the qualifying session. The top 10 fastest riders from the first 3 practice sessions will make it to the Qualifying – Q2 which will decide the pole. The rest of the pack (other than the top 10) will qualify in Q1 and the fastest two riders from this session will be promoted to Q2 to join the top10 riders. Q1 will decide grid positions 13 and onwards while Q2 will decide the top 12 spots of the starting grid including the pole sitter.
Practice 4 has been allocated to setup and fine tune of the bikes for the qualifying shoot out and only the first 3 practice sessions will be considered for Q1 and Q2 allocation.
The Q1 and Q2 separation increases on–track safety by filtering the slower bikes to a separate session thus allowing the faster bikes to have a clear track to go for a time attack without the hindrance of slower CRT riders.
Mike Webb – Race Director explains “It’s separated qualifying, so that the fastest group runs together and the slowest group runs together, It’s one thing for the show and the other really big reason is for the safety of the riders; each rider group will get a clear race track and be better able to do their best lap time.”
Apart from the drama and safety it will also ensure TV coverage of the smaller teams and riders enabling their sponsors to get much visibility and exposure.
On the whole this system seems pretty interesting from FP1 onwards where riders are forced to make their best time in each and every session to safeguard their position for qualifying if incase weather spoils any of the sessions resulting in a great show over the entire weekend.
The New Schedule for MotoGP
Thursday – Practice 1
Friday – Practice 2 and Practice 3
Saturday – Practice 4 (30mins) and Qualifying – Q1 (15mins) and Q2 (15mins)
Sunday – Warm up (20mins) and Race
Story: Piyush Sonsale