There have been some bonkers time-wasting rules in Formula One – no mid-season helmet changes, 50-place grid penalties in a field of 22 cars, team radio guidance being allowed, then not allowed, then allowed a little bit – but the latest ruling in MotoGP takes the biscuit.
After an incident in practice at the last round in Misano where Valentino Rossi showed his displeasure at Aleix Espargaro by giving him the middle finger, governing body FIM issued a statement that any rude hand gestures would be met with a fine.
The news hasn’t been well received at all – LCR Honda rider, the typically-outspoken Cal Crutchlow said “We’re not allowed to stick fingers up, give wanker signs, nothing. We had an email last week. No more gesturing. We’ll get an FIM fine in Swiss Francs. That’d be no good because I’d be fucking bankrupt.”
One of the great things about MotoGP (apart from the awesome racing) is being able to see the riders and how they react, and this takes away a huge part of it. Angry gestures don’t happen all that often and when they do they create memories that fans talk about and tell their friends about for years – who can forget Murray Walker’s “‘I’m going for first!’ Says John Cleland”, or David Coulthard making every signal in the book at Michael Schumacher during the 2000 French Grand Prix.
Let’s hope the riders stick a collective finger up at the FIM and ignore the rule. With the way emotions can run in MotoGP, it surely won’t be too long before the first fine.