Flag Alerts Embedded in the New MotoGP Dashboards

Flag Alerts Embedded in the New MotoGP Dashboards 1 photo
Autoevolution recently had a story on how MotoGP bikes are being timed and other changes which Dorna wanted implemented in the dashboard of the bikes in order to enhance on-track safety. One of the things which made it into the 2014 motorcycles is the flag alert system which allows riders to receive immediate data on the changing race conditions, on an individual and group basis.
Despite the initial plans of the new Magneti Marelli dash being able to display as much as 12 different flags, it appears like such a disco system in front of the rider’s eyes was indeed overkill. The FIM, Dorna and the Race Direction agreed on a total of 5 flag alerts to be displayed on the bike’s instrument cluster.

The new Magneti Marelli dash received 3 additional LED lights positioned in the leftmost bezel of the LCD, and they flash in several colors, sending out a coded piece of information. The electronic communication systems present on the bike pick up the signals transmitted by the Race Direction and display the code on the rider’s dash in real-time.

This feature allows riders to be warned much more quickly in case of hazardous conditions, and at the same time, reduces the chances that they simply miss the displayed flags or flag-related messages on the pitboard.

Magneti Marelli’s new flag alert system will flash the upper and lower LEDs in bright blue for the black flag no rider wants to see, as it means disqualification. The two still blink alongside a red middle one for the black-orange flag which signals that the bike has mechanical problems which put riders at risk. The upper LED blinking red and the lower one in green signal a ride-through flag, usually displayed when a rider jumps the start and has to pass through the pit lane once.

The upper LED changes to blue and the lower one to red for the change position flag, usually shown to a rider who has passed another when an yellow flag (banning passing and making slowing down mandatory) was already waved. In this case, the rider receiving this flag must allow the ride behind him to regain his position.

Finally, the red flag, signaling the race is interrupted because of a crash or other cause, has two red LEDs blinking. No mention of the yellow flag alert, but we might see it implemented soon. The flag alerts are commanded by the Race Director, in this case Mr. Mike Webb, and they can be conveyed to one rider specifically, in case of individual faults, or to all the field at the same time, in case of flags affecting the entire race.

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