Vinales blasts ‘useless’ World SBK support series after fatality – The Race
MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales has launched an impassioned attack on the World Supersport 300 championship following the death of 22-year-old Victor Steeman in last weekend’s round associated with the collection in Portugal, just over a year on from the loss of Vinales’ cousin Dean Berta Vinales in similar circumstances.
Steeman, a championship contender going into last weekend’s final round at the particular Portimao circuit, crashed upon the opening lap of the sprint race and was struck by another driver. Initially declared critically ill with head trauma on Saturday evening, it has been confirmed upon Tuesday that he had tragically succumbed to his injuries.
The second death in the series in a year following Vinales’ accident the year previously, it’s prompted some soul-searching among the MotoGP paddock about what to do to make the WSSP300 series in particular safe, with Vinales unsurprisingly among the most vocal about what to do with the class.
Introduced within 2017 primarily to create a series for the particular new lower-capacity sports bikes being rolled out simply by factories, the class had been more a new model rather than a replacement for anything else, moving MotoGP bosses Dorna’s production bike paddock closer to the three-class model that will grand prix racing has used since 80cc bikes were dropped in 1989.
But, while there might be multiple specific issues that have led to the two fatal accidents, Vinales is adamant that the root cause of the particular fatalities can be laid firmly at the nature from the World Supersport 300 bicycles.
“I always had the same opinion about the Supersport 300, ” he explained. “I said it before this happened with Dean, before many things, that this kind of category, with bikes of 180kg that you can ride at the maximum of 140kph around the straights: they’re useless for a rider.
“Useless. You learn nothing. The talented guys are involved in a situation where if you have the bike that’s 2kph faster, you win the competition. There is no talent involved.
“I remember when I was a kid, I needed to trip 125GP, and there you were skilled or it was impossible in order to win or even to follow the good guys. I remember when I arrived here within the world tournament, the first time We tried to adhere to someone, I actually highsided. First time. I learned the lesson, that you need to think.
“In this moment, also along with Moto3, a person can see some riders but still they all go together. It wasn’t like this in the particular past. This wasn’t such as this, and the talent was more important than if the bike was a little faster or slower.
“In Supersport three hundred, the problem is that will the bike are 180kg, no speed, and these people go all together. Of course if someone crashes at the front, it’s impossible to escape. It’s not regarding the age, it’s not concerning the cyclists, it’s about the bicycles. They have no power, they weigh like a MotoGP bike, the particular brakes are usually s**t, the swingarms are from your street. The problem is the particular category, not really the bikers. ”
And, with his experience both coming up through the ranks in an era whenever racers started on two-stroke machinery, not modern four-strokes, and with time spent riding Supersport 300 machines, Vinales says that he’s convinced that the only solution will be to change the bikes.
“When I was 13 years old, ” he explained, “I has been riding a 125GP, plus nothing ever happened. Nothing, because we weren’t 20 in one pack – all of us were four, three. Not more, because it was difficult.
“I tried a 300, I rode one, and for me it had been very easy, no power, you can proceed together. You can have a rider who is usually two seconds slower, plus if a person follow you can go along with the first one. At the time, I said to my family that this is not the particular category for Dean, that will it’s not good that he rides here, but in the end you know, things move like that.
“But if this continues, then many more things like this will happen, because this group, as I say, has too much weight on the bikes and no energy so that they almost all go together. The bikes are not really even race bikes, that is the biggest issue. ”
He isn’t the particular only rider to share the opinion, together with his Aprilia team-mate Aleix Espargaro (reliably one of the most outspoken safety advocates within the grid) echoing Vinales sentiments.
“Really, really, really a shame cause the last year hasn’t been good in terms of safety for the young categories, ” this individual said. “Supersport 300 is not a safe category, we know 100 percent, and I understand also because I’m involved in the safety commission that they are working on it, they don’t like either. Hopefully we can improve for the future. ”
Plus, when asked by The particular Race regarding what the solution was, he went even further compared to Vinales.
“Cancel it. For me it isn’t really [just] a good solution, it’s the only one. ”