The so-called permanent motorcycling bureau, made up of the International Federation (FIM) and the Spanish company Dorna, owner of the exploitation rights of MotoGP and many other speed championships, has decided to progressively increase the minimum age to participate in the different motor competitions for which they have responsibilities. This was announced this Friday, during the first day of free practice for the Made in Italy GP, in Misano. Starting next year, the minimum age to compete in any of the promotional cups promoted by Dorna, the so-called Talent Cups, will be 13 years, instead of 12, the minimum age so far to race on a speed circuit of the big ones. To compete in the popular Red Bull Rookies Cup it will be necessary to be 14 and to do so in the so-called FIM Junior World Cup, 15. You will not be able to race under 16 years of age in the SSP300 category of the Superbike World Championship, one of which more dangerous situations has offered in recent years.
A year later, in 2023, the minimum will be raised a little more. No rider under 14 years of age may participate in any competition held on a grand prix circuit. Red Bull Rookies drivers will be at least 15 years old; and 16 for the Junior World Cup. The minimum age to participate in any category of the MotoGP World Championship will be 18 (now, with 16 you can race in Moto3 and Moto2), the same with the Supersport world championship.
These are the measures that, as EL PAÍS has already advanced, aim to reduce the number of fatal accidents in competition, as well as to protect the youngest runners. In the last four years, five pilots participating in the small categories have died, four of them minors. The death, last September, of Dean Berta Viñales at the age of 15 made the organizers react.
In a couple of seasons, no more grand prix winners at the age of 15 will be seen in the World Championship, as was seen with the Turkish Can Oncü in 2018. Nor will it be possible to see 17-year-old Moto3 champions, as it can already happen to this end week if the Murcian Pedro Acosta takes a championship that dominated from almost the first day and despite being a rookie. You will have to be patient. And wait until they come of age to rub shoulders with the best, on the best tracks and with the fastest bikes.
“We are all aware that competitive motorcycling is dangerous, but we have always worked to make this sport as safe as possible and we remain committed to improving and evolving safety as our sport continues to grow on a global scale,” says the note. , signed by the president of the FIM, Jorge Viegas, and the CEO of Dorna, Carmelo Ezpeleta.
Likewise, the permanent bureau agreed on the suitability of reducing the number of riders per grid: there will be no more than 32 riders in any competition, when up to 42 competitors have been seen this year on a World Superbike grid. In addition, the use of the airbag safety in the suit in any category under the umbrella of the FIM. And a better communication system will be implemented, perhaps by radio, to instantly warn pilots on the track in the event of an accident. This is a point that has yet to be developed and whose tests will begin at the beginning of next season.
In recent years, a lot of work has been done to improve the safety of the circuits: loopholes were expanded, protections were improved, areas with artificial grass were eliminated … And it is a permanent process in which pilots of the considered top category of the race are involved. motorcycling, MotoGP, which meet every Friday in the so-called safety commission. The pilots’ equipment has also been improved. And work continues on it. At a recent meeting held in Aragon together with the motorcycle or helmet manufacturers, with the presence of the MotoGP medical team, all parties also committed to raising quality and safety standards. The focus is on trying to protect the riders against the impacts of another rival, especially sensitive are the chest and neck areas. All recent fatal accidents have occurred under these circumstances: a pilot fell due to his own error and the accident he received while on the ground had fatal consequences.
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