MotoGP considers stricter racing rules with increased death toll


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Motorcycle technology has come a long way since the days of Flat Track racing. With the integration of bigger machines, perfectly tuned engines and advanced analytics for perfect aerodynamics, the racing world has become more avant-garde – and, some would say, too dangerous for the younger generations.

Credit: CycleNews

As recently as last weekend, the world lost the brilliant and talented spirit of Dean Berta Vinales on the track after a crash involving several drivers during a World Supersport 300 race in Jerez resulted in the death of the young rider – the third teenager to be killed across the smaller bike classes this year alone, according to AutoSport.

A photo of the deceased rider, Dean Berta Vinales
Dean Berta Vinales. Credit: RideApart

The fact that it is dangerous to race on supersport machines is an understatement that everyone knows and experiences when connected to the track at MotoGP and WorldSBK championships. Still, there is a need for balance as the death toll rises and racing bikes start to look more and more like deadly speed missiles.

a range of Moto3 machines on a tight bend.
Credit: GoodWood

“The problem is that we have more and more deaths with more and more safety,” noted Ducati WorldSBK rider Scott Redding. “So you have to ask yourself: what is different from 10 or 15 years ago? And I’m telling you what’s different: the race is so close. Everything is so flat that there is no time for a break.

Scott Redding at a press conference.
Scott Redding. Credit: MotorSport

“Sometimes it’s bad in Superbikes, and then in every category where they change regimes, it makes great races. But when you have 15-year-olds and you have 40 on the same bike, at a second in between, anything can happen at absolutely any time.

a range of Moto3 machines on a tight bend.
Credit: Twitter – MotoGP

Former MotoGP rider Loris Baz agrees – for him it becomes painful even to keep an eye on the races.

“For me, this class is the most dangerous class ever; I don’t like it, I don’t look at it and I’m scared when I look at it, ”says Baz of WSS300, a class based on small A2 machines.

“These bikes are too heavy and [don’t] have enough horsepower, so you can’t tell the difference.

Loris Baz at MotoGP, waiting for a start
Loris Baz. Credit: MotoGP

Baz is right – Moto3-type categories recorded the highest rate of loss due to the wake techniques adopted as a means of overcoming the smaller displacement of motorcycles.

So how will MotoGP / WorldSBK deal with this growing concern?

Valentino Rossi himself has conveyed a consensus from the MotoGP legend that competition in Moto3 categories is admittedly becoming too aggressive (a vine he has definitely got his hands on, given that his own team is set to join MotoGP in 2022. ).

Valentino Rossi next to his racing machine
Valentino Rossi. Credit: Top Gear

Changes are likely to occur through reduced grid sizes at junior levels, stricter rules of engagement and stricter penalties for bad behavior on the track. Dorna Sports has also reportedly convened its conclave in all championships to discuss options for improving safety, with the ultimate goal being to reduce casualties while maintaining the spirit of the race.

A celebration after the end of a Moto3 race
Credit: Reddit

We will keep an eye on the progress of things and let you know if anything happens in the pipeline; in the meantime, be sure to read on motorcycle safety articles from our archives that wBW has organized, just for you.

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About Todd Wurtsbach

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