Table of contents:
- The last three great misfortunes have a common pattern
- The case of Mahias as an example of excess medical flexibility
The passage of the World Superbike Championship through the Jerez circuit has ended in tragedy. Dean Berta Viñales, a very young pilot of only 15 years old, and cousin of Maverick Viñales, lost his life during Saturday's Supersport 300 race after an unfortunate accident leaving the first corner.
Literally, Viñales is the typical accident that is impossible to blame or hold someone accountable. It was pure and hard bad luck, the kind that makes us angry because it puts us face down against the toughest face of motorcycling. But beyond this specific incident, it is appropriate to make an analysis of the latest fatalities that have hit the sport.
The last three great misfortunes have a common pattern
2021 is being a terrible year for motorcycling. In the last few days, three very young drivers have left in relatively similar conditions: first it was Jason Dupasquier, at 19 years of age, at Mugello, then Hugo Millán, only 14 years old, at MotorLand and now Dean Berta Viñales, 15 years old, in Jerez.
Three accidents with quite a few similarities. The first, the young age of the three pilots, which is by no means a coincidence. Everybody They raced in small motorcycle categories, in a training way, as much as the most purists insist on defending that Moto3 continues to maintain the essence of the world championship with its own entity of the old 125 cc.
In addition, the three accidents were in very similar conditions: a pilot who falls, stays in the middle of the track and is hit by a pursuer. With advances in safety of both motorcycles and monkeys and circuitsThese crashes are the great danger of modern motorcycling, and unfortunately there are plenty of examples.
But there is something wrong. Theoretically, with smaller motorcycles, these accidents should be more avoidable and, if they do occur, minor. It is pure logic: lower speed causes softer impacts and at the same time gives the pursuers more reaction time to avoid these mishaps. But the last three cases are in 250/300 cc motorcycles.
And the conclusion of why this is so is quite clear: they are too grouped races. Any fan or journalist who follows the Moto3 or Supersport 300 categories with some continuity will know that seeing a getaway alone, or with two or three riders, is practically an impossible mission. The group remains until the last laps.
"Supersport 300 is the most dangerous category in history", Loris Baz.
This not only devalues the interest of the competition, but makes it much more dangerous. They all roll together, so any fall of a driver left on the track is practically inevitable. But it is also that, being in the leading group, everyone is seen with podium options, until the fifteenth, and unbearable risks are taken. If we add the inexperience of age we have a lethal cocktail. The long march.
Perhaps the words of Michel Fabrizio, and his withdrawal, have not been too elegant for that of putting Marc Márquez, who neither clicks nor cuts in this story, on a subject as serious as the death of a 15-year-old boy. But behind his terrible ways there is a real basis: Supersport 300 racing is unbearable because you always have the feeling of being about to witness a tragedy.
Loris Baz, who was in Jerez on the rebound and found himself with the scrubbing, has had more success when choosing his words: " Supersport 300 is the most dangerous category in history. My coach's brother raced there and after just three races he was sad, scared and hadn't learned anything. You can't make a difference."
And that is the key. Not only Moto3 and Supersport 300 categories are much more dangerous With these simple motorcycles that favor groups, it is that they are useless at all. Neither pilots learn nor titles have too much value, because they do not respond to which pilot is superior to the other.
The best proof is what happened in the 2019 Moto3 season. Raúl Fernández happened to be one more in the eyes of almost anyone, but in just a handful of races in Moto2 he has already become one of the biggest promises in the world. It's what you have to race in categories in which more things matter than melee.
The case of Mahias as an example of excess medical flexibility
Another interesting topic to review is if you are not being too permissive with drivers who suffer injuries and are given the ability to return to racing. It was very controversial Deniz Öncü's participation in the San Marino Grand Prix just hours after suffering a severe concussion. Another blow would have been fatal.
But in Superbikes we have also had a very suspicious recent case. Lucas Mahias, a pilot usually quite clean and with a well-furnished head, suffered a severe accident in Assen in which the scaphoid was fractured. The round of Most was skipped, but was promptly given the fit to return.
His performance was notably lower than he had before, something understandable, but in Montmeló he was involved in two serious accidents: one with Chaz Davies and one with Tom Sykes. The two ended up in the hospital and neither of them has been able to participate in the Jerez round. They will probably skip Portimao too.
After trying again in Jerez, Mahias has announced that he will no longer be racing for the rest of the season. to recover. It is to wonder if he was allowed to race without having the physical capabilities to fully control his bike. Epics and bravado are dangerous, whatever the pilot does.