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July 11th, 2016, 05:44 AM   #1
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Stoner: Red Bull Ring run-off areas "dangerous"

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Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has expressed his concerns about the safety of the Red Bull Ring venue, which is hosting a grand prix in August.

Stoner, who serves as Ducati's test rider, will ride in Austria in less than 10 days' time and has spoken out about the asphalt run-offs at the Spielberg venue.

"I'm worried about the run-offs in Austria," the Australian told Sky Italia. "Some of them are even painted on. Imagine what will happen if it rains: a rider who crashes will not slow down, just the opposite.

"They have to focus more on safety because people's lives are fragile and you can't always put performance first, with run-off areas that won't slow the riders."

"The asphalt run-offs are dangerous, as Luis Salom's accident at Montmelo showed.

"To those who say that it's actually a safety measure I say no, it only benefits those who want to brake as late as possible and then go wide. It is only aimed at pleasing them, it has nothing to do with safety."

When the Ducati starts testing in Austria, the Safety Commission will have already examined the proposals presented to modify the area where Luis Salom crashed at Montmelo, especially Turn 12.

The question mark is the final corner

The only team that will not be present at Red Bull Ring on the 19th and 20th of July will be Honda, which has not received an invitation from Ducati - who rented the circuit - to run with the RC213V-S, the road version of the MotoGP bike.

However, both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa had the chance to complete a number laps a few days ago to get used to the track.

"On the safety side, most of the circuit looks pretty good, but there's a question mark on the final corner, which is where Daniil Kvyat had his accident [on Saturday during F1's Austrian Grand Prix]," Marquez told Motorsport.com.

"We'll have to see how they protect that area with the Airfence. Until we race there, we won't know what needs to be improved."
I have to agree with him on this. The tarmac runoff areas are shit for bikes, and have nothing to do with safety. They were dressed up as a safety exercise, but it was always about letting guys rejoin the circuit without finding their cars beached and having their day ended.
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July 11th, 2016, 06:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
I have to agree with him on this. The tarmac runoff areas are shit for bikes, and have nothing to do with safety. They were dressed up as a safety exercise, but it was always about letting guys rejoin the circuit without finding their cars beached and having their day ended.
The race track will never be completely safe. Agree the Tarmac run off areas aren't good for bikes other than that if riders run on at high speed, they are more likely to stay up right on Tarmac than gravel, so there is a case for it

For cars What happened to Schumacher at silverstone when he broke his leg? Did his brakes fail, I can't remenber. If not then I would argue that if he lost his steering but not his brakes then he would have scrubbed off lots of speed on Tarmac than gravel and had less of an impact

Gravel also makes cars and bikes flip out of control more instead of sliding like on Tarmac. both are dangerous but I would say for potential safety of spectators and marshalls, sliding is better than a heavy object being flipped 10 metres in the air
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July 11th, 2016, 11:55 AM   #3
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Im not sure of Honda's strategy to not test on a new track in a year where we have new tires and new electronics. They could find themselves way behind that weekend and could cost them dearly
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July 11th, 2016, 12:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Richy56 View Post
The race track will never be completely safe. Agree the Tarmac run off areas aren't good for bikes other than that if riders run on at high speed, they are more likely to stay up right on Tarmac than gravel, so there is a case for it

For cars What happened to Schumacher at silverstone when he broke his leg? Did his brakes fail, I can't remenber. If not then I would argue that if he lost his steering but not his brakes then he would have scrubbed off lots of speed on Tarmac than gravel and had less of an impact

Gravel also makes cars and bikes flip out of control more instead of sliding like on Tarmac. both are dangerous but I would say for potential safety of spectators and marshalls, sliding is better than a heavy object being flipped 10 metres in the air
Luis Salom was killed precisely because there was no gravel trap at Catalunya for him to get slowed down in. Yes the gravel traps can cause the bike to flip, but if the option is to slide for a distance into possible obstacles, I'll take the gravel trap.

Silverstone '99 was a brake failure and he went off near the exit of Stowe. Even though he suffered the broken leg, he was far safer by 1999 in a F1 car than he would have been 5 years earlier. He hit the tire barrier at 67mph as opposed to the 191mph when the failure started. The front tires did lock-up before he left the circuit so a bit of speed was scrubbed.

The issue with the Red Bull Ring in my opinion starts with turn 7 which will see the bikes around 170-180 before braking, and the runoff area is not very much, and it is all tarmac. That leads into turn 8 because there is not a lot of room, so the tarmac will carry a bike and rider into a bad spot if they go down at the wrong angle. Then you have turn 1 is also another potential issue since they'll be doing around 200mph before braking. It's all tarmac, the tire barrier is a bit further away than in turn 7 and 8. But frankly while it's a short circuit, the bikes will be reaching very high speeds due to there only being 8 corners, two (turn 1 & 2) happen to be very slow, the rest are medium to medium high.
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July 11th, 2016, 11:16 PM   #5
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Luis Salom was killed precisely because there was no gravel trap at Catalunya for him to get slowed down in. Yes the gravel traps can cause the bike to flip, but if the option is to slide for a distance into possible obstacles, I'll take the gravel trap.

Silverstone '99 was a brake failure and he went off near the exit of Stowe. Even though he suffered the broken leg, he was far safer by 1999 in a F1 car than he would have been 5 years earlier. He hit the tire barrier at 67mph as opposed to the 191mph when the failure started. The front tires did lock-up before he left the circuit so a bit of speed was scrubbed.

The issue with the Red Bull Ring in my opinion starts with turn 7 which will see the bikes around 170-180 before braking, and the runoff area is not very much, and it is all tarmac. That leads into turn 8 because there is not a lot of room, so the tarmac will carry a bike and rider into a bad spot if they go down at the wrong angle. Then you have turn 1 is also another potential issue since they'll be doing around 200mph before braking. It's all tarmac, the tire barrier is a bit further away than in turn 7 and 8. But frankly while it's a short circuit, the bikes will be reaching very high speeds due to there only being 8 corners, two (turn 1 & 2) happen to be very slow, the rest are medium to medium high.
If schumachers front tyres locked then he would have slowed down a lot more before hitting the barrier with a Tarmac run off, therefore may not have hit the barrier as hard if at all. So in some scenarios there is cases for Tarmac run off that's all I was saying.

Salom was a freak accident and the bike hit him when it bounced off the air fence. It could have happened with gravel if the bike was flipping and landed on him.

My local circuit (croft) the back esses have Tarmac run off. They are taken on a decent bike at over 100mph, if the run off was gravel or grass and you run a bit wide you would come a massive cropper, on Tarmac it's not as issue.

There is cases for both, some one has to make a decision and I think they do it with the best intentions to keep everyone safe.
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July 12th, 2016, 12:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Richy56 View Post
If schumachers front tyres locked then he would have slowed down a lot more before hitting the barrier with a Tarmac run off, therefore may not have hit the barrier as hard if at all. So in some scenarios there is cases for Tarmac run off that's all I was saying.

Salom was a freak accident and the bike hit him when it bounced off the air fence. It could have happened with gravel if the bike was flipping and landed on him.

My local circuit (croft) the back esses have Tarmac run off. They are taken on a decent bike at over 100mph, if the run off was gravel or grass and you run a bit wide you would come a massive cropper, on Tarmac it's not as issue.

There is cases for both, some one has to make a decision and I think they do it with the best intentions to keep everyone safe.
Bikes are different than cars, and Stoner has something of a record for being correct about safety issues regarding MotoGP bikes.

Unless he really is going to wildcard at the Austrian round as someone suggested, which I consider highly unlikely but would be delighted to see, he is also a fairly disinterested party with no axe to grind in terms of seeking competitive advantages.

Last edited by michaelm; July 12th, 2016 at 12:47 AM.
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July 12th, 2016, 12:59 AM   #7
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Bikes are different than cars, and Stoner has something of a record for being correct about safety issues regarding MotoGP bikes.

Unless he really is going to wildcard at the Austrian round as someone suggested, which I consider highly unlikely but would be delighted to see, he is also a fairly disinterested party with no axe to grind in terms of seeking competitive advantages.
im aware cars are different, my point being that in some scenarios Tarmac run off has some advantages, in others it does not.

There is no easy answer, and it's not Black and white IMO. If I had the choice of having a massive run off area of Tarmac, or a small one with gravel and a wall, I would take Tarmac. It depends on many factors as most circuits are space restricted.
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July 12th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richy56 View Post
im aware cars are different, my point being that in some scenarios Tarmac run off has some advantages, in others it does not.

There is no easy answer, and it's not Black and white IMO. If I had the choice of having a massive run off area of Tarmac, or a small one with gravel and a wall, I would take Tarmac. It depends on many factors as most circuits are space restricted.
Sure, and I have no doubt your perspective/personal experience is vastly more knowledgeable/vastly exceeds mine.

My point was that I am inclined to believe Stoner in regard to GP bike racing, given several major incidents in the last 5- 10 years seem to have validated fairly directly safety concerns he raised prior to them actually occurring.
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July 12th, 2016, 01:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richy56 View Post
im aware cars are different, my point being that in some scenarios Tarmac run off has some advantages, in others it does not.

There is no easy answer, and it's not Black and white IMO. If I had the choice of having a massive run off area of Tarmac, or a small one with gravel and a wall, I would take Tarmac. It depends on many factors as most circuits are space restricted.
You should compare runoff areas of the same size, tarmac vs gravel. Big runoff with gravel isn't so bad, bikes flipping a disadvantage of course. Small runoff with tarmac and a wall, not so good.

Big tarmac runoffs encourage more risktaking I think, knowing you can probably rejoin the race if you make a mistake. If there's a gravel trap the possibility of rejoining is usually very small and the riders are less inclined to do stupid things.
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July 15th, 2016, 12:49 AM   #10
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MotoGP, Petrucci: Stoner may race in Austria
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