Gesticulation. That is what the FIM have banned.
There are a lot of rules in MotoGP. But what do you expect? The rules are there to protect everybody involved in the sport. First they banned aerodynamic wings – fair enough, they looked absolutely ridiculous and they were pretty unsafe.
But a new rule has just been introduced by the FIM that has caused a lot of controversy. Riders are now banned from making “offensive hand gestures” on track. Ridiculous? Yes.
The rule was introduced following an incident between Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi in Misano. Espargaro was cruising on the racing line and Rossi got caught up behind him. Rossi rode alongside Aleix’s Suzuki and threw out some “offensive hand gestures”, even as Espargaro entered the pits.
Motorcycle racers are passionate for their sport and we know that. If someone cuts them up or if someone runs them off track and causes them to crash, they are obviously going to be annoyed. Gesticulation is a way of them expressing their passion and us as fans seeing it – in a round about way. But you can also see it from the side of the FIM – they don’t want to put across a bad image of the sport to people who may not necessarily know of it. And it’s true what the FIM have said, it’s bad sportsmanship.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who is notoriously known for having a bit of a “potty mouth” was one of the first to speak out about this ban. He said: “You’re not allowed to stick fingers up, wanker signs, nothing. I’m disappointed with that rule change. It adds a little bit of spice”.
Sky Racing VR46’s Nicolo Bulega was the first rider to be slapped with a 300 Euro fine for flipping the finger this weekend in Aragon. But to the MotoGP boys – especially the likes of Marquez, Lorenzo and certainly Rossi, a 300 Euro fine is just petty cash. I’m not convinced that the threat of a small fine like that will deter them from gesticulating on the track.
It really makes us wonder if the FIM should be focusing more on disciplining dangerous riding, rather than fining riders for a hand gesture which only happens when they’re caught up in the passion of their sport.
(photo credit: www.bikeme.tv)