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Discussion in 'Racing' started by PackMule, Dec 23, 2009.
or a daily commuter for me
I have a question for the rules guys.. is anyone still using a 690 say Jacob Przygonski whom i recall rode one when others were running their 450's? Or to phrase it differently...is it legal for a top level pro to actually run a 690 in FIM world rally's other than the dakar?
Not any more... there was a transitional period (maybe 2010 and 2011 I think) where pros had to be on 450s but in the SP class you could still run 690s (or 530s)... from 2012 onwards it has been mandatory 450s for everyone IIRC
For all FIM races or just Dakar ?
Definitely Dakar, I think the rest of the FIM rounds followed the same rule a year later at most... the pros by then were all on 450s anyway, I think the transition was to give the privateers a break
I also seem to recall a year (2009? 2010?) when the 690s had to be fitted with restrictors to level the playing field compared to the 450s... need to do some research as I don't remember which class that rule applied to
2012 FIM Cross Country Rally regs here:
You are still able to race +450cc machines in a world championship event (see page 94 & 96).
However, to clarify (see page 6) - the 'World Championship' itself is only for 450cc (or presumably less) machines - just the events themselves still have a +450cc trophy attached - you would just not eligible for World Championship points.
Ah, apologies Neil - I just remember something confusing about the specified nav/tacking equipment at the time... Jx
knew about Dakar just wasn't sure about the other races...
No problem Jen
I know they reseeded the FIM guys to the front each day, with the Brazilian champs behind, so I got passed everyday
by guys like Zanol and Helio. it was great to have the chance to chase them each day, but man they are so so fast. Frustrating i am sure and not very fair on them, which is also why I don't agree with the idea of seeding anyone with favoritism on any rally, every competitor behind the reseeded guy has more of a struggle as a result of this and it skews things. If someone screws up and comes last, no matter if its n00b rider like me or or if its Coma, he should know how to pass all other riders safely (if need be) and eat some dust for a change. This safety reason cited is a croc IMO. Saw it again on the Maroc and its a slap across the face of everyone else in the back of the field.
Not talking from direct experience, but from contact with someone who has, I do believe that it's a tough call both ways.
Not an issue in the Dakar of course as when you're out you're out, but a good working example of the situation, but for a slightly differant reason was in this years Sardegna rally.
Sam was riding his 450 r for Honda Europe in a rally where most were on more agile enduro's. For a reason only known to the organisers he was numbered in the 80's.
Now a rider like Sam, or any with aspirations and ability to win, is going to go for it, whether in contention or not (having picked up penalty but continuing) it 's simply part of their competitive make up and DNA.
Sam said trying to be competitive with 80 or so slower riders in front of him on a track like Sardegna was dam near suicidal and he was close to disaster on several occasions and did not escape unscathed! - but is he expected not to compete, because of the dangers of slower riders?
To say dust is not dangerous also, we only have to consider the Kemal accident last month. Sam was visibly shaken, both from the incident, but also what he went through in Sardegna!
Ok, not an easy situation, but unless you are going to run the Dakar principle, which you can't as it would kill the sport then it seems to make good sense to me?
You may or not agree, but I thought it good to quote a live example (if not exact, but demonstrating the principles and dangers) for reseeding that demonstrates the benefits.
Of course it can work the other way - 18 months ago in Sam's first rally, his engines blew on day 3 - day 4 he started at the back, didn't really have to navigate, won the stage and was nearly half an hour quicker than Coma, Fretgne sated " he went passed me like he was riding motocross" funny at the time and it was in the big dunes with space and no real dust, but such advantages are far less than those that disadvantage.
Just as a footnote, what about the risks to the slower riders? To be minding your own business and wrapped up in your own bubble of competition, some world class rider screams passed you at double your speed - sooner or later things aren't
going to be pleasant!
That placement in Sardegna was criminal IMHO. Sardegna of course is one of a kind race, with lots of single track making it impossible to pass 90% of the time. Not the case with all other FIM rallies
I have a good friend who was wrongly seeded two days in a row in Evia last year, he quit the race out of frustration, being on a 990 and competing for the 2-cylinder cup, it was just impossible for him to pass 65 bikes each day on the tighter european tracks (he is damn fast, his position was definitely top 20 overall as his times were on the first 3 days). They mistakenly (or purposely - that's another story that includes politics) gave him a non-existent 4 hour penalty each day (they had lost his time card and slapped him with allegedly not finishing the special) which put him on the starting list in the low 80s... It was murder.
Ended up banging his fists on the secretary table and spitting venom, even taking the issue up with the Motorcycle Federation here. I completely understand...
Cheers Brodovitch - It's never an easy call to please all of the people all of the time, but the paramount decisions have to be on the safety of all - we enjoy it, these guys are putting their live on the line.
Not something anyone would wish to heighten the risk over and something we are all in the same bivouac on!
I'm inclined to agree with Neil. Also putting a rider back in a race after failing to complete a stage is lame. Maybe for amateurs but at a professional level race....i think it detracts from the spirit of the race.
Let a pro eat dust if his placement puts him there, otherwise the final results are skewed
Le Maroc c'est finé...
So when does Merzouga Rally kick into gear...?
Hey, just had a look at that - looks like a good and well-organised event!
Can't wait to start following!
If the rules are clear, as are the defining lines between pro and privateer/enthusiast then I'm with you. :
The event of rally seems to have accelerated at warp factor since the 450 standardisation, so certain other things need to adapt and move on also?
Thanks for your insight on this and sharing Sam's experiences. I think its good to talk about this stuff.
I have to agree with you that a case for seeding make a lot of sense on the Sardegna, which consists of narrow twisty tracks making passing a bit of a mare no matter who might be in front. After all its more of a long enduro with navigation than a rally. But this is not the case in most desert rallies, and there is normally a lot of space to pass others, although at time it is not safe to do so because of poor visibility.
The tragic Kemal incident is also a good point highlighting the dangers in the sport. Unusually three bikes were involved, and this kind of thing has happened before with cars riding into riders. But in this example, hard as it may be to say it, I believe it was more a case of a relatively inexperienced, young guy charging into thick dust at pace. To me that tragedy was the result of a parties being in the wrong place, wrong time, no visibility and definitely not a good time to be riding at full gas.
All incidents always come down to two common criteria: An unsafe act, and an unsafe condition. Put the two together and you have a recipe for disaster. Riding conditions are often unsafe, dust being the biggest thing, and passing other riders another to mention just two. If you don't moderate your riding style to suit unsafe conditions what the ride is doing is adding the unsafe act to the mix. Then it is just a matter of time, or luck before a crash happens, even if your name is Cyril Despres. But these things don't happen to the front guys, not because they are all riding fast, but because they know what happens if they take risks. Younger guys tend to take more risks, because they have nothing to lose (in their world views), and they have more testosterone. That's also why a guy who is fast but does not have a lot rallies under the belt is not usually a favorite. Riding a rally at 100% of ones ability is like playing in a casino for a week - You're not going to come out richer, and the longer you ride taking risks the more likely you will not finish. Its also why the Dakar has the highest DNF rate - because exposure to risk is the highest.
Kuba Przygonski who is one of the fastest guys out there gave me some really good advice a couple of years ago: "Neil, there is one thing you must remember, if there is dust and you can't see, then slow down or you will crash. I always slow down and stop sometimes if necessary if there is dust, because the risk is just too high. Most of the fast guys ride like this." Armed with this knowledge I embarked on my first rally and thankfully avoided five high risk situations in thick dust where I definitely would have crashed otherwise. Interestingly on the same rally, I saw Ze Helio crash twice, once I came up on him and he was still bouncing! On day 5, Ludo fractured his collar bone in five places. All of these examples were a result of guys pushing the envelope past the limit and riding in thick dust. I remember Ludo, in his retrospective description of the incident mentioned that he knew he should have been backing off, but instead he attacked in the dust. Big respect to him for admitting his mistake - I know it certainly changed the way I ride, and I am sure Sam has changed his approach too after what he has seen this past year.
So I don't believe it has anything to do with seeding, but it has it everything to do with the way you ride. Being where I was I had the top Brazilian guys pass me everyday, but most of them did so when it was safe. Once we stopped at a refueling, and one of them asked me if I could wait for him to get past because he had been in my dust for about 20km trying to get past, but never getting close enough. Of course I let him go, pleased that I was riding fast enough to make it difficult for him.
For us to now regulate who goes where in order to reduce the risk is a cop out, because everyone knows what they are doing is dangerous, going into a rally - it comes with the territory. Everyone going into a rally can, to a larger degree manage the risk to a degree that they feel comfortable with.
To come back to the point, I still cant agree that seeding should take place to put the fast guys in front, except in a race like Sardegna, where overtaking is virtually impossible to do. Everyone should deserve to be where they are in the ranking each day based on performance, and everyone needs to use their own initiative to overtake when it safe to do so. Neither should a rally be classed like we had in the Sertoes was in 2010 with FIM riders up front because not all FIM riders are bullets, and don't deserve to be there, regardless of the status.
Although it was nice to be up front it took a bit away from me, because I knew I did not deserve to be there.
Agree. Especially for aspiring rally riders, it's important to spend a lot of time thinking about these situations, to decide how to react.
The number one risk in Rally is dust, in my opinion. Most of the time, you can choose your risk level by slowing down so that you don't hit something, the danger you can't control is someone hitting you, and you can't manage that risk down to 0. But there are a lot of things you can do to minimize it- getting off or at the edge of the track if you aren't at full gas being a prime example. I always think of the rally track the much the way I do an interstate highway- they have the right to be coming along full gas.
Pre-rally, I don't mind seeding like putting Johnny Aubert at 21 in the Dakar this year, clearly, he was going to be on the gas. Chris Birch at 110, well, who knows. In any case, the cream will rise if you let it.
During the race, I agree with you Neil, you should start wherever you finished the day before, regardless of class or expectations.
We did a reverse day at the end of last year, and it was miserable and at times, felt suicidal. I can imagine that's how it feels for a fast guy to be mired back in the mix... but people must be rewarded, and punished, for their performance, it's the only fair way.