MotoGP corner exits “the worst thing that ever happened to bike racing”

In an effort to improve motorsport safety, most circuits have had grass, gravel and synthetic turf edges replaced by asphalt runoff over the past decade.

In 2021, MotoGP deployed sensors in the green painted clearance areas beyond the circuit edges to the police track limits, while racing riders are now only allowed to exceed the limits of the track only four times before being assessed a penalty.

Asked how safety in junior motorcycle racing classes can be improved after three fatal crashes in 2021 and an increase in unsafe driving especially in Moto3, Stoner said enforcement has been a problem.

But he thinks the biggest contributor to lower driving standards is the fact that racers are “no longer afraid” in combat due to the asphalt runoff lining the bends now.

“I think the support needs to come more from the race management,” Stoner began.

“I think there needs to be a little more clarity or some final driving decisions and things like that, because there haven’t been any issues for so many years.

“And now there is all this leeway, there is no longer a runway edge. It continues and it is limited by green paint.

“I think that doesn’t help the situation, people are no longer afraid because there is no edge of the track whereas before when it was green grass everyone had to control themselves.

“Now it’s like ‘hey I’m going to run over it and it doesn’t matter if I leave the track because there’s a lot of track out there.’

“So I think everyone needs to learn to have a little more respect for each other.

Casey stoner

Photo by: Dorna

“I don’t think it’s just young people who are causing it. I have seen a lot of more mature and experienced runners doing similar things.

“I think it all comes down to the fact that the penalties and punishments are maybe not severe enough and not definitive and clear enough.

“So if there are a lot more, everyone will be a little more reserved.

“But for me the worst thing that has happened to motorcycle racing is all that extra runoff.

“There is no more advantage on the track now, there is no limit and I think it is very difficult to contain everyone inside.”

Stoner retired from MotoGP in 2012 and last rode a MotoGP motorcycle in 2018 during his final year as a Ducati test rider.

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