Rally safety under scrutiny
This week FIM President Jorge Viegas, FIM Sports Director Jean-Paul Gombeaud and other FIM colleagues met with representatives from ASO (Organisers of the Dakar Rally), organisers, team managers, riders and manufacturers from the discipline of rally.
The main objective of this important meeting staged in Portugal was to reduce the number of accidents, and to increase safety in all rally events, but with a particular focus on the Dakar Rally.
During the meeting the following factors were identified as potentially increasing the risk of accidents, those being: Fatigue; dehydration; speeding and heightened confidence; hyper-thermic; navigational error; distraction; course – limited visibility of obstacle; and Road Book accuracy.
Following positive and constructive discussions between all parties, a number of proposals were put forward to address the points raised. They included:
Course: In future all courses at FIM championship events will be designed with the collaboration of a former motorcycle rider.
Road Book: A ‘course inspector’ team to be appointed – to develop the Road Book for all rounds so that all riders / teams have the same level of information and a truer interpretation of the actual level of difficulty of the course.
Speed reduction: More variation of the styles of course in order to have lower average speeds.
Air intake restrictor – the installation of the air intake restrictors, as per FIM 300 WSBK – in order to reduce engine power and also reduce speed. A test period will apply until June.
Rider protection equipment: Adopt airbags as soon as possible. Imminent meeting planned with relevant manufacturers, with 2020 being used for development in order to implement fully in 2021.
Navigation: A new instrumentation tower is being developed, with more visual and audio signals, and more compact / less obtrusive to avoid injuries.
FIM President Jorge Viegas
“I am satisfied with this very constructive meeting in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents in Rally, which is a priority for the FIM especially in the Dakar rally. We will test solutions from the start of this season and we will make a plan at the end of the season to adjust as necessary. The participation of ASO, KTM, Husqvarna, Hero, Honda, Yamaha and also the riders Sam Sunderland and Adrien Van Beveren allowed us to work hand in hand to take up this challenge to ensure the sustainability of this spectacular and unique championship.”