MotoGP is to get a head start on the implementation of LED flag panels for the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season, starting with this weekend’s Portuguese GP at Portimão.
The panels, which will be made compulsory by both the FIM and FIA from 2022, are to be transported from track to track by LED panel manufacturer EM Motorsport, and used for each race.
The panels are already being used in some tracks. They have been present at the Le Mans circuit for a couple of years, where the MotoGP riders got their first taste of them, and Assen fitted LED panels as part of their upgrades to the circuit at the end of the 2019 season.
The riders have been pushing for this to happen for some time, Aleix Espargaro explained at Portimão. “This was one thing that the riders had requested to Dorna.”
“In Le Mans, because of the 24 Hours, we had banners from two or three years ago, and sincerely, it helps in some places in Le Mans. So after the Le Mans race two years ago, we asked Dorna to try to have it everywhere, so they did a great job.”
Having LED flag panels will help, but the responsibility will still ultimately lie with rider, Espargaro said. “There are some riders who say it will change their life, and I don’t agree.”
“If you don’t want to see a yellow flag and you want to keep pushing for your own interest and doing the fast lap, you can put LED panels, you can put a yellow flag in the middle of the corner, you will not close the throttle. But obviously, in some places where you have a big runoff area because it is a very fast corner, the LED panels can help.”
The panels, which are the first to be homologated by the FIM and FIA, produce 64,000 candela per square meter.
MotoGP will utilize two versions of the panels, with the T1s being used at long run off areas and fast straights and the T2s covering the rest of the circuit.
T1 panels are EM Motorsport’s flagship product, while the T2 panels evolved from the T1 panls to offer the high-end technology to the entirety of the motorsport market.
T1 and T2 differ in dimensions and performance in order to adapt to different Championship and circuit needs.