MXGP finding its way with the new Goggle Lane
The recent Grand Prix of Lombardia at Mantova provided MXGP with its first wet weather conditions this season and saw several riders testing the benefits of the new Goggle Lane provision that is now being installed in all circuits; usually just before or after the pitlane structure.
While not yet mandatory, the FIM have ‘encouraged’ riders to enter the lane and swap mud-splattered eyewear within a two-lap window. The premise of the Lane being to provide a quicker and safer alternative than entering pitlane and the two-lap ruling – which could come into effect for 2020 – is to prevent injury and situations like that seen at the 2018 Motocross of Nations where an eye problem for Calvin Vlaanderen almost certainly cost the Dutch team victory at RedBud in the USA.
In the rain-hit meeting at Mantova MX2 world championship contender Thomas Kjer Olsen was one of the most prominent riders to use the facility for fresh goggles after he was involved in a first-corner pile-up in the opening moto. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider was able to come back to 6th position and eventually rescued an overall podium finish.
“I used it in the first moto but I wasn’t sure if the mechanic was allowed to hold my clutch or not – I found out for the second moto that he was – so I kinda messed up!” says Olsen of the procedure that states team staff must wait outside of the fenced lane area. “I was trying to find neutral and I actually stalled it. When I went to fire the bike it took a little while and I was a bit scared for a moment. The idea is great and if the mechanics are able to help it definitely makes sense.”
Words: Adam Wheeler