…that’s a hard to answer question since there is always the principals of the chaos which can’t be foreseen. This is why I’ll put it on you, and to make your own decision about it. Though, I want to share with you something which I am worried about since it came up in the 90’s… when asphalt surfaces replaced the gravel beds around the turns of race tracks.
I believe Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone came up with it since a simple runn-off the track causes the end of race for multi million dollar teams whom pissing off their sponsors. You know- F1 cars are pretty fragile and get stuck in those traditional gravel-beds which were designed to slow a crashed rider or race car down before hitting the damn barrier. We- the motorcycle racer community back then, called these asphalt driveways “pussy stripes” btw.
In fact, the F1 required all international race tracks to modify their crashing zones in order to get the gig. They were not too unhappy about it because crashed vehicles are easier and quicker to remove. So yea… also race bikes took a ride out on those asphalt stripes and it reduced the ‘grass games’ a little… but i believe it can double the risk of the ‘real bad ones’- especially for the motorcycle racers!
You might think different about it, which is your God given right, but as I seen Luis Salom sliding behind his bike- almost with no reduction of speed… then it is obvious to me. While a bike keeps sliding on asphalt on its flat and hard materials- it also will stay on its path once its down. Luis’s bike bounced off the tire wall right back into him and the impact was real hard. I believe that a gravel bed would have slowed it down by at least 30%, and the bike would have go somewhere else. Yes- nobody knows if that would not end up with his dead, but it would have gained his chance to be still alive by about 30%, doesn’t it?!
Again… there is always a ‘point of no return’, and believe me- I hate those gravel-beds either because I’ve got hurt many times in there- digging limbs deep into the gravel until they break. But I do know that you’ll fall softer as you would drop on grass or even asphalt- just like this gentleman here: https://www.facebook.com/beINSportsUSA/videos/1226535764052910/
I think we’ve been forgotten once more in their $$$ games, but we also just took it. The fatal crash of Luis Salom is hopefully trigger for a critical view at it under the motto… what good for race car drivers- doesn’t automatically mean that it is also good for motorcycle racers.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
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