FIM World Champion Tony Cairoli explained after winning the Grand Prix of Italy at Maggiora last Sunday that riders are due to meet with the governing body and promoters Youthstream at every event in a move to help assess circuits and improve safety further.
The news came at a time when the riders – Cairoli included – felt the need to highlight some of the more problematic areas of track preparation after the Grand Prix of France in which the choppy and rutty landings of the big downhills came under scrutiny. The matter was also raised before the unfortunate accident to Belgian Joel Roelants on Saturday in Italy that led to emergency back surgery for the Honda rider.
“I spoke with Youthstream and we will have a meeting every time to have the track better,” Cairoli said. “This is really nice for us. For the sport it will mean something better.”
It is a proactive move by both Youthstream and the FIM to gather riders’ opinions and thoughts in a more collective and structured way compared to occasional comments made to Track Manager Greg Atkins or FIM staff at the events themselves. Rules surrounding the arrangement of MX circuits were tightened up for 2014 with spectator zones pushed further back from the racing course.
Details of the new dialogue have yet to be confirmed but Cairoli revealed that a spread of riders from the leading teams would have their say. “It will be with the top guys from mostly every brand and we will speak about getting the tracks safer but also making different kinds of places to pass….[we have to put] safety first.”
Of course the subsequent changes and recommendations that can actually be made after the ‘body’ make their suggestions over a race weekend is open to debate and depends on collaboration with local circuit staff as well as logistic considerations.