Accidents, with no good outcome. They often happened in the junior classes. Often they happened due to too risky driving of the individual pilots. Often they happened in narrow driver fields. Unfortunately, not all of them ended well. The accidents lie like a shadow over the current season, and not only in MotoGP. The Superbike class is also affected. What needs to be done now?
We are all aware that motorcycle racing is dangerous. You don’t have to explain it to anyone, especially not to the pilots. Everyone is aware of it and yet riders continue to push themselves to the limit and sometimes beyond. Any accident that doesn’t just knock the dust off the station wagon should make you think. And not just whether the rider made a mistake, or the bike, but whether the system behind it isn’t making a mistake.
The ‘Permanent Bureau’, which for many years has worked closely with all stakeholders in road and track racing, including IRTA and MSMA, has apparently asked itself this question. For new rules have been announced in the four important areas. These four areas include, the minimum age limit, the maximum entry list size for each race series, as well as are intended to advance projects to improve rider equipment and rider communication.
Entry lists and age limits from 2022
• In the Talent Cups (European, British, Northern and Asia Talent Cups & Pre-Moto3 series), the minimum age will be raised to 13. In addition, 30 riders will be able to participate.
• In the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the minimum age will be raised to 14.
• In the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship in the FIM CEV Repsol, the minimum age will be raised to 15. In addition, a maximum of 32 participants will be allowed in each race.
• In the WorldSSP300 class of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, the minimum age will be 16. A maximum of 32 riders will be allowed to compete.
• For the transition, there will be an exemption for riders. This means that riders who have already competed in the same class in 2021 may continue to compete in the class regardless of the age limit.
Entry lists and age limits from 2023
• The minimum age in the Asia, British, European and Northern Talent Cups will be raised to 14 years.
• In all classes of the FIM MotoGP World Championship, the minimum age of 18 years will apply from 2023.
• The winners of the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will be allowed to enter Moto3 at the age of 17.
• There will also be an exception for the 2023 season for riders who have already raced in Moto3 in 2022. So that they can continue to race regardless of the minimum age.
• In the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship and Moto2 European Championship classes, the minimum age will be raised to 16.
• In the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, riders with a minimum age of 15 may participate.
• The minimum age for participants in the WorldSSP Championship will be raised to 18.
Rider equipment from 2022
• Airbags will be mandatory in all FIM championships.
• Tests will be carried out for the FIM Sidecar World Championship to see if the airbags also work for the co-drivers. If the tests are successful, the airbags can be used from 2022.
• The simplicity and speed of communication between drivers, pit wall and race control has improved steadily in recent years.
• In the future, communication should also take place directly after a crash. So that the drivers or the motorcycle are warned as quickly as possible.
• The first tests are scheduled to take place at the start of the 2022 season. If these run successfully, the system will be spread across all championships.
These are all good ideas for making motorcycle racing safer in the future. In my opinion, there is still one important aspect. An aspect that cannot be controlled by rules. The pressure. The pressure that is put on young riders at a very early age. The pressure that also prevails in the higher classes. It weighs on their shoulders and perhaps even leads to mistakes.
Does it have to be the case that young drivers are given so much pressure when they are still young? Aren’t they risking too much if only the top three drivers have a chance to pursue their careers? Do they have to sort you out if you don’t perform in your first year? Does it have to be that you get right back on the bike despite surgery to risk everything? All this should make you think. All this should lead to a rethink. The new rules are good, but something has to change in the system. Less pressure, more trust, more prudence.
Your Miss MotoGP