Going forward, the MotoGP Championship will begin testing its riders for alcohol consumption, adding a breathalyzer test to its random drug screening process.
While alcohol use has been banned in MotoGP since 2004, today’s news comes as the FIM has added the testing protocol to its 2017 medical code.
Like its current process regarding the screening for drug use, the FIM will pick three random riders before several rounds during the season, and make them take a mandatory breathalyzer test.
The testing protocol will see Dorna penalizing any rider who has a BAC of 0.10 grams per liter or more. A failure of the breathalyzer test will result in a more accurate alcohol screening process, with disciplinary actions including up to an 18-months suspension.
One of the most vocal proponents of testing riders in the GP paddock for drug use, Cal Crutchlow was equally positive about the FIM’s plan to include alcohol use in its testing regiment, though was quick to say more could be done in the premier racing series.
“As you know, I have spoken about drug testing in our sport. I don’t think there’s particularly enough of it, I don’t think they should select three people in our championship to be on this system. I think everybody should be on it,” said Crutchlow. “We’re a world championship. World Superbike, World Supersport, all three GP classes, they should all be on it.”
“I don’t understand why there’s just three in each championship. It’s free. The testing is what costs. But when there are hundreds and hundreds of millions spent on our sport, why are they testing at two or three races a year?”
“But the breathalyzing thing, I’ve know a few riders who have probably raced drunk, and it’s a good idea to test them. I don’t think it’s a great idea, I would prefer if they did more drug testing. But at the end of the day, I don’t think there’s much going on in the sport, but I think there’s something going on.”
The latter part of that statement alluding to previous comments from the LCR Honda rider that drug testing in MotoGP still has room for improvement to be truly effective.