Tuesday 9th March marked an important video meeting between representatives from the FIM, ASO, teams and manufacturers regarding safety and technical matters, and followed on from a similar meeting held in Lisbon last March.
The following persons attended virtually:
FIM: Jorge Viegas – FIM President; Jean-Paul Gombeaud – Sports Director; Jean-François Wulveryck – CRT Director; Gregory Ricci – CRT Coordinator; Dominique Hebrard – CTI Technical Manager; Mathieu Piccand and Miguel Sanchez – CTI Coordinators.
ASO: David Castera – Dakar Director and Thierry Viardot – Dakar Technical.
Manufacturers and Teams: Jordi Viladoms – KTM; Pierre-Alexandre “Pela” Renet – HVA; Alexandre Kowalski and Marc Bourgeois – Yamaha; David Casteu – Sherco; Wolfgang Fischer – Hero; Ruben Faria and Hélder Rodrigues – HRC Honda; and Henk Hellegers – HT Rally Raid.
The main topics of discussion centred around improving safety in FIM Cross-Country rallies, which resulted in the following decisions:
- Tyres: The number of rear tyres will be limited to one per race day except for the marathon stages where tyre change is prohibited. Teams entered in RallyGP must announce the brand and model of tyre when registering.
- Airbag jackets, airbag vests: These have been tested since 2020 and this process has produced good results. The FIM will continue to work in this area in order to reduce trauma in this discipline.
- Roadbook: The vocabulary of the road book will be re-studied in order to return to the use of traditional icons, in particular when signalling danger.
- Audible Alerts: The implementation of audible alerts for the announcement of danger levels 2 and 3 has been positive, and hence this systematic application will continue. The warning radius should be increased from 200 to 300 metres from the danger positions so that riders can anticipate their braking at high speed.
- Number of Sealed Pistons / Engine: For the RallyGP category, the engines will be sealed. A seal on the top of the engine and a seal on the bottom of the engine will be placed during preliminary scrutineering. During Rallies of 5 days of racing, no change of pistons or internal parts of the top of the engine will be allowed. During Marathon Rallies, the top of the engine can only be opened once to carry out repairs. If opened for a second time for Marathon rallies or for a first time for 5 days rallies, a 10 minutes penalty will be applied.
- Fuel Tank capacity: The total fuel capacity that is permitted to be carried in all tanks remains at 35 litres maximum and the required distance remains at 250km, however on fast and sandy stages, the organiser shall reduce this distance to 220km.
- Refuelling time: The time allotted for refuelling will be increased from 15 minutes to 20 minutes, in order to give a rest time and to allow the cartridges of Airbag vests to be changed (plus refuelling, water replenishment, roadbook calibration etc…) but no work on the bike is allowed.
- Maximum speed limitation: In 2023, the 150 Km/h speed limitation will be mandatory. The FIM will work with the manufacturers to electronically (GPS) limit the maximum speed in RallyGP to 150Km/h in 2022 (with an audible alert from 145Km/h).
- Limitation of digital screens on the tower or handlebars: Only digital screens provided by the organisation (GPS, TRIP, Roadbook etc…) will be allowed to be fitted on RallyGP motorcycles.
- Improvement of helmet standards: The FIM has already improved the helmet standards for circuit racing championships (FRHPhe-01), and by the end of 2021 the FIM aims to publish the specifications of the standard for off-road helmets. The second phase of the FHRP (FIM Homologation Racing Program) programme for competition helmets should come into effect within a few years (FRHPhe-02: 2025 target). While waiting for the FIM standard to become compulsory, the European ECE standard for helmets is evolving towards version 22.06. The current standard 22.05 is valid until 2023 at the latest.
After the meeting Jorge Viegas – FIM President said: “I would like to thank all the participants for this fruitful meeting. Although the 2020 season was shortened in the field because of the pandemic, we were still able to continue working on the regulations, equipments and solutions aimed at reducing the number and severity of accidents in rally. We are eager to test the adjustments at the start of this exciting season, as everyone involved can’t wait to get back to competition.”