Originally Posted by Kropotkin
Indy 2012 three people highsided in the same corner. Rossi broke his leg at Mugello in a highside. Marquez had a massive highside at Austin this year. Smith had two highsides at Mugello, and Crutchlow has had at least one highside this year. The cause is different, cold tires usually, but the result is the same. MotoGP riders are getting a comparable amount of air to their 500cc forebears.
This is my point: racing is about finding the limit. Back in the 500 days, the riders knew that if they got too close to the limit, they would get tossed off, so they built in a safety margin. Now, the riders know that the TC will go a long way towards saving a highside, so the cozy right up the limit, and get as close as possible. They both end up highsiding as often, because riders have the same risk tolerance.
The same is true of increased safety in cars. Ordinary drivers now take more risks because they have ABS, air bags and structural protection to protect them. More crashes, though with the improved passive safety measures, fewer injuries.
I don't disagree with any of that. I think the original point roadholder
was trying to make was that with TC riders are safer, without it there would be more high sides, like in the 80's and 90's. I think the reason for the high sides in that era wasn't really the lack of TC but the hair trigger power band on the 2 strokes. I was also unsure of the ratio of high sides between the 2 eras. I'm not sure that TC is such a boon to rider safety because, as you say, riders will always push to the edge. Airbags and helmet technology etc. have certainly made the sport safer than it was. We could use some track improvements though IMHO.