Barbagallo Raceway sees motorcycle racing halted following Department of Sport and Recreation report
On the 9th November the Department of Sport and Recreation provided Motorcycling Western Australia and the operators or Barbagallo Raceway, the WA Sporting Car Club with a report regarding safe motorcycle and car competition at the venue.
The report conducted by Mr Chris Hall, an engineer with experience in accident reconstruction and motor sport safety was commissioned by DSR with full cooperation of MWA, and compared the MA Track Guidelines (2006) to approximated FIM International requirements, and suggestions for treatments to lower risk factors.
As a precaution and based on the recommendation of the Hall Report, that racing activities be suspended until additional treatments be put in place to reduce risk at the circuit MWA has suspended all racing activity until the technical recommendations can be assessed.
Non-racing activities such as ride days, training and coaching activities have not been suspended by MWA.
Dept. Sport and Recreation’s position is for activity to stop until improvements can be made. In line with this, the lessee of the venue, the WASCC have taken the precautionary approach of not hiring their venue for any motorcycle activity based on the Hall Report findings, and MWA supports their rights to do so.
MWA has had daily contact with the Department of Sport and Recreation, the WASCC, Motorcycling Australia and others in an endeavour to work our way through the issues raised in the Hall Report and are optimistic of a return to activity at Barbagallo in the near future.
We are leaving no avenue unexplored in ensuring motorcycles return to Barbagallo. In returning to racing and non-racing activities we are determined to work with the venue owners to ensure that all practical risk reduction treatments that reduce risk further than that outlined in the MA Track Guidelines (2012) are put in place.
MWA would like to emphasise to our members that Barbagallo is licensed by MA in accordance to the MA Track Guidelines (2012) and remains licensed.
The MA Track Guidelines (2012) are the only guidance available to circuit operators wanting to conduct MA permitted activity and are a prerequisite to gaining MA sanction.
FIM International licensing is required by the FIM to provide guidance to circuit operators wanting to conduct FIM permitted activity and are a prerequisite to gaining FIM sanction.
The MA and FIM licensing requirements reasonably take into account the different levels of competition and the different inherent risks.
The FIM licensing requirements reflect the higher needs of the world’s fastest motorcycles – MotoGP and World Superbike. With speeds approaching 350kph, the minimum length requirements of international tracks of 3.5 km and minimum widths of 12m result in much higher corner speeds which require a different approach.
International motorcycle racing has not, and never will be, conducted at the 2.4 km Barbagallo.
Perth based three time Australian Champion, World Superbike and MotoGP competitor Bryan Staring contacted MWA and commented.
“I have ridden more laps around Barbagallo than most. As riders we are aware of the risks involved in racing motorcycles, just as there are risks in every sport. Cricket has recently made us aware of that. To think that the 300 odd members of the local racing club, thousands of social, club, track day riders and even police officers who use Barbagallo to train and help protect our roads are so naïve as to place their life in such danger at the circuit is beyond crazy. To consider road racing is so dangerous at Wanneroo that the circuit needs to be closed is incomprehensible to me after all my experience”.
Kevin McWilliams, Motorcycling Australia accredited coach also commented.
“I volunteer to coach for my club, the Motor Cycle Racing Club of WA. Thousands of riders have been through our training program where the closed course, controlled conditions of Barbagallo has allowed us to teach the dynamics of riding motorcycles that has resulted in safer riders on our roads. The closing of Barbagallo is placing road riders at more risk if we cannot continue with this program”.
Motorcycling Western Australia CEO Rick Gill added:
“We are now arranging to meet with the report’s author Chris Hall, the Department of Sport and Recreation, the WA Sporting Car Club and Motorcycling Australia to gain more clarity on the report contents and what will be required for the short, medium and longer term. We expect this meeting to occur mid next week.”
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