MotoGP Argentina – Last man standing

Clinica Mobile MotoGP

Head and neck trauma, severe back contusions, broken metacarpal bone, shoulder blade fracture, tendon injuries to the outer hip joint, four broken vertebrae in the back, broken lower jaw, severe lung contusion – these are the injuries after two MotoGP races. The season has just started and already there are five retirements. In today’s MotoGP race at Termas de Rio Honda, only 17 MotoGP riders were on the grid. In addition to the retirements, some riders are also stricken. Ducati rider Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia is battling a fever. Jorge Martin broke his toe in the race accident with Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira in Portimão. Both pilots still went to the start.

Five retirements after two races and still 19 races lie ahead of the MotoGP riders. If this continues, it is doubtful whether we will see another race with a full grid. What is the reason for these failures? Is it only because of the new sprint races? Is it the ever-increasing strain on the MotoGP riders? Or is it because of the ever faster motorcycles?

The rider impact is getting smaller and smaller, the technical/innovative component more and more important. If the technology doesn’t quite play along, the rider takes a higher risk. A risk that does not always pay off. It is fatal when not only the pilot pays for the risk he has taken, but also causes misfortune for uninvolved pilots.

Through the sprint races we gain 21 races. Even if it is not officially called a race, it is a race. Albeit with a smaller number of laps and fewer points. The Sprint is a race that is added to every race weekend for the MotoGP riders. A race in which they risk again. In which the MotoGP riders have to give everything from the first moment. The officials wanted to create something spectacular with the sprint races and they have succeeded. The last two sprint races were spectacular, but they also involved a high level of risk. Let’s just remember the grandiose catch-up of Brad Binder. The KTM rider advanced from 15th to 1st place. He won the sprint in Argentina. Binder is rightly celebrated for this, but something could have gone wrong quickly. Then the praise would have quickly turned into a new discussion about the risk taken.

In MotoGP, there is a fine line between winning and losing. The increasing stress on MotoGP riders increases the risk of accidents. Mistakes happen, and failures result. Insufficiently implemented safety precautions, such as in Portimão, are also a risk for the MotoGP pilots. Let’s hope that nothing more happens. Otherwise, the MotoGP teams will soon have to take replacement riders to the race weekends as a precautionary measure in order to be able to compete at all. At best, the desired spectacle would fail to materialize. Or one thinks back to the most important thing in this sport, namely the importance of the MotoGP pilots. Without them there is no spectacle.

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