File picture: Jon Nazca / Reuters.

London - MotoGP riders can be classified as race finishers in future even if they and their motorcycles cross the line separately, the sport's governing body (FIM) said on Wednesday.

Under previous rules, riders had to be still on their machines at the chequered flag to finish and score points but the FIM's Grand Prix Commission decided a change was needed.

"There have been situations when, due to a crash, the rider and machine have crossed the line separately," the International Motorcycling Federation said in a statement.

"In future the finish time will be determined by the first part of the rider or his motorcycle, whichever crosses the finish line last."

Dutch Moto3 entrant Bo Bendsneyder fell metres from the finish at his home grand prix at Assen last year and was disqualified from 10th place because his riderless KTM had skidded across the finish line ahead of him.