With the progression of motocross around the world and the ever-increasing professionalism and speed in MXGP Youthstream and the FIM have together been working to keep safety as the number one priority.
For the protection of the world’s best athletes on the track, the world’s best mechanics and teams in the Pit Lane, or the world’s best fans lining the fences, Youthstream and the FIM are continually innovating in terms of their safety measures.
Two of the newest additions to the MXGP series highlight this push for safety. The first addition is the Goggle Lane, introduced in Patagonia Argentina, which provides a safe, effective, and quick way for riders to keep their vision at 100%. Whereas previously riders needed to exit the circuit through the Pit Lane to receive clean goggles, the time it took to do so proved hard for the riders to justify. The new addition sits close to the Pit Lane but is completely separate allowing the riders to pull in and meet their mechanic or team member who can provide clean goggles. This alone provides for much safer racing and reduces the number of visibility-related incidents on track.
The second new addition, which had its debut in Valkenswaard during the MXGP of the Netherlands, is an airbag-like barrier alongside the track facing a portion of the Pit Lane. This air protection wall guarantees greater safety through cushioning and high resistance to impact. It protects not only the riders, should they veer off track, but also the mechanics and crew working inside the Pit Lane. This air-fence protection might also be used in other areas around the track.
Together these innovations in safety are essential for the all involved to both keep the sport safe and allow riders to optimise their performances.
Youthstream President Giuseppe Luongo: “For the first time ever we are using an air-fence made especially for motocross, the entire Pit Lane since Valkenswaard is protected by air-fence, and shortly it will be used in other areas around the track. This is a big step forward in terms of riders’ safety and for others involved. Possibly some may not understand the importance of a goggle-lane for riders’ safety, however this means a lot because in bad weather conditions it’s common for riders (more than 50%) to remove their goggles because they are covered in mud and the rider can’t see anymore. If the riders wanted to change their goggles by entering into the Pit Lane they could lose more than 1 minute so often they continue the race without goggles putting their eyes in serious danger. Therefore, the goggle-lane has been created close to Pit-Lane, which is a dedicated area to be used only for changing goggles, and we have calculated that riders stopping in this area will lose a maximum of 10 seconds. This is very beneficial for the rider: 1st for his health and also for the results.”
FIM President Jorge Viegas, added: “Youthstream and the FIM have the safety of the riders at the top of the agenda. The Goggle Lane and the Pit Lane air fence clearly demonstrate this because both initiatives were put in place following two racing incidents in the last two events of the 2018 season. Youthstream and the FIM will continue monitoring the evolution of the Championship and take appropriate action whenever necessary.”