Qualifying and timing add new dimension to FIM Speedway Grand Prix weekends in 2019.
Qualifying and timing comes to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix for the first time in 2019, as riders battle it out for the prime pick of gates on Friday evenings.
Following successful timing tests in 2018; all riders’ bikes will carry transponders for the 2019 season, with the system used to determine who crosses the finish line first in every heat on Saturday nights.
The new technology also means the stakes will be much higher on practice day as riders compete to set the fastest lap and earn the right to choose their starting gates for the SGP showdown on Saturday night.
BSI Speedway managing director Torben Olsen believes the changes are a natural progression for the sport. He said: “Timing is a key part of so many motorsports and we’re delighted to be introducing it to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series for 2019 – both to resolve close finishes and allow us to introduce a competitive way of allocating starting gates.
“Qualifying will create some genuine competition on Fridays, with access to times giving riders data to help with their bike choice and setup decisions for Saturday night. There was real excitement among the riders when we first trialled timing in Horsens last year, with many crowding around the screens to check how fast they were when they returned to the pits. I really believe this will add an exciting new dimension to SGP weekends in the future.”
Each rider will get the option to take four practice runs in groups of three during a free practice session. The order in which riders take to the track will be predetermined by the FIM – not by the 2018 championship positions.
Times set during this free practice will decide the order for qualifying, with the slowest rider going first and the fastest rider last.
Riders will take to the track individually to set as many flying laps as they can in one minute, upon the referee’s go ahead. If they are midway through a lap when the chequered flag is shown, they can complete that circuit.
No-one from a rider’s crew will be allowed on to the infield during qualifying and riders cannot change bikes once they enter the track. If they are unable to complete a lap due to technical issues, they cannot take another run. Once qualifying is complete, riders will then take turns to choose their gate positions for Saturday’s meeting, with the fastest rider getting first pick and the slowest selecting last.
Any riders who don’t take part or who fail to set a time during qualifying will be entered into a random draw, conducted by the FIM jury president, to decide their gate positions for the meeting.
For more on SGP Qualifying, read here >> bit.ly/2GhYF5g