“Atrocious” junior rider deaths “can’t continue”, says Miller – Motorsport. com
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World Supersport 300 rider Vinales – the 15-year-old cousin of MotoGP race winner Maverick Vinales – tragically died in a horrific incident during the Jerez Globe Supersport round last weekend.
He is the third teenager at world and European championship level to die in incidents in 2021, following 14-year-old European Talent Cup driver Hugo Millan in July and Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier within May.
This recent tragedy has sparked a debate about how the sport of motorcycle racing can stop such events from happening in the future, with age limits, grid reductions and bike changes in junior road racing categories all discussed.
Dorna Sports – which owns MotoGP plus World Superbike – confirmed to Motorsport. com earlier this week that a working group within the company has recently been set up to discuss these matters.
Ducati rider Miller – who knows one of the riders involved in the Vinales incident – says he’s “getting sick” of attending moments associated with silences during race weekends and feels the younger classes must change going forward to stop these tragedies.
“We’ve had this discussion in Moto3, but there even within Supersport , those bikes aren’t very fast and there’s so many of them, and all those bikes are not light by any stretch of the imagination, ” he said in response to a question from Motorsport. com about the situation concerning junior driver fatalities.
“For sure it’s a lot of weight and there’s so many of these on the main grid that, when something does unfortunately go wrong, the chance of something bad happening is for sure doubled or tripled.
“The racing’s fantastic and I think the classes are wonderful.
“I think it’s therefore good to have a feeder class like Planet Supersport three hundred to help these young kids who may not get a chance in Moto3 to come through that way.
“But there has to be a big step taken in looking at the particular safety, at the way these races go and this can’t continue on.
“This year’s been especially bad, but this can’t continue upon. We can not have three young kids within the space of not even nine months losing their lives.
“It’s atrocious and i believe I stand on behalf of everybody in saying I’m getting sick plus tired going to these minute of silences for kids that were so, so younger.
“It’s just so bad, so for sure this can’t carry on. It can’t, no method. ”
Six-time MotoGP globe champion Marc Marquez believes Dorna will be doing its best “to protect us” in the instances of disaster, while also constantly working to improve safety.
But he seems the biggest issue is usually the sheer number of jr categories around in the particular modern day, which is only increasing the risks.
“About Dorna, they are usually trying to protect us and they are wanting to enhance on the safety, on the circuits, around the leather suits and the particular helmets, ” he stated, when asked by Motorsport. com if he felt MotoGP offered enough support to riders during times of tragedy.
“But the risk always will be there. It’s true that, if we compare to 20 years ago, now there is double the particular categories, double the cyclists on track.
“I mean, when you say we are operating for finding young talents, it means more categories, more bikers on track, more risk.
“It’s something difficult to manage, difficult in order to find a good compromise, but now one of the things is I will state this: we have a great deal, a lot of groups. Every weekend break we now have some racing – GP, Superbikes, World Superbikes, European Championship.
“That indicates there is a lot more risk than in the past of course. ”
A minutes silence to remember Jason Dupasquier
Photo by: Gold plus Goose / Motorsport Images
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro echoed Marquez’s concerns concerning the number of series where Moto4, Moto3 and Supersport 300 machinery are being raced.
While he thinks an age group limit increase should become discussed, Espargaro also feels young riders should be forced to spend longer honing their skills on much safer minibikes on karting tracks.
“It’s not simply about 16 within the planet championship, because 16 is definitely not that will bad, ” he mentioned.
“But yeah, we could go 17. Yet the problem is you can go to a big monitor like Barcelona with a Moto4, which is almost Moto3, in 12 years old I think.
“So this particular, for me, is worse. The school associated with the minibikes on the particular kart [tracks] is good, therefore maybe they can stay more time in minibikes where the speed is a lot lower, where two riders may have an accident together plus nothing happens, and these people can postpone one or two many years the arrival into a big track.
“So, in the past the popularity from the minibikes was very high, great everyone wants to do Moto4.
“We’re doing numerous classes, Supersport 300, everyone on the particular big tracks.
“Maybe this is the solution furthermore, to race more on karting tracks due to the fact maybe presently there I believe the kids can learn the particular same or even maybe more. ”
Following his cousin’s death, Maverick Vinales has elected in order to sit out this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas – a decision Aprilia has thrown its full support behind.
Reigning entire world champion Joan Mir states Aprilia’s gesture is “appreciated” by the rest of the grid.
“Well, We think that when a tragedy like this one occurs, I see everyone really feeling this particular kind of loss and looks like whenever something like this happens we all are together plus this can be something nice, because this particular can happen to every one associated with us and it’s the really hard situation, ” Mir said.
“I completely understand Maverick doesn’t feel well ahead here and the decision of Aprilia always is actually nice.
“I think that the particular riders appreciate this kind of thing, and I hope this doesn’t happen again. ”