Giacomo Agostini suggests changes to MotoGP tyres after Marco Simoncelli's death

Motorcycle racing legend Giacomo Agostini believes changes to the behaviour of MotoGP tyres could help avoid crashes such as the one that took the life of Marco Simoncelli in yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix

Giacomo Agostini suggests changes to MotoGP tyres after Marco Simoncelli's death

Simoncelli died after being struck by Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi when he lost control of his Gresini Honda on lap two at Sepang. The bike, with Simoncelli still attached, slid up the track on its side and into Edwards and Rossi's path.

Agostini, a 15-time world champion, said that the proliferation of electronic rider aids on modern MotoGP bikes was not a factor, but that there could be a need to look at the nature of MotoGP tyres.

"I think electronics had nothing to do with it yesterday," he told RAI Radio.

"Personally, like many other riders, I don't like electronics very much. I'd prefer the bike to be managed by the rider only and not electronics that drive your wrist.

"Tyres have been blamed too. Sure, tyres get some blame, in the sense that tyres are some of the most important things on a motorcycle. Nowadays, all riders demand the tyre to last from the first to the last lap, with no performance loss.

"The constructors build tyres to accommodate them: they are a bit harder and a bit more difficult to handle. Unfortunately that means that when grip lacks, the tyres just slide off and drop you with no warning.

"Perhaps it would make sense to have different tyres that, from mid-race onwards, they start to degrade. The rider would then have to ride more carefully. This would be a bit like in my times, when from mid-race onwards the tyre was worn so you'd need to ride by using more drifting and by being more careful."

But overall Agostini believes it would not be correct to try and apportion blame for the accident.

"Unfortunately, with yesterday's crash, we can't look for someone to pin the blame on," he said. "It was a crash like many that happen during races and sessions. Yesterday that crash was unfortunately fatal.

"It was fatal also because the bike didn't slide or fall: the rider fell. Together they went on a trajectory whereby, instead of going off the track, they went to the right, and unfortunately the others were coming and there was nothing they could do.

"It's useless to talk about safety and protection because I think in this case there was enough."

He believes current safety measures in MotoGP are more than adequate.

"Back in my times we'd race with a small helmet, with ultra-light overalls that would weigh less than two pounds; the circuits were enclosed by walls, trees and guard rails. Unfortunately that's how it was, it was hopeless, there were many crashes and many of my colleagues passed away.

"Nowadays I'd say big steps forward have been made: the circuits are very safe, they have run-offs, the overalls are safe and the helmets are full face. There's even a riders' air bag by Dainese that protects the back, the shoulder and the head.

"A lot of work is being done for safety, but when two 150-kilo bikes crash into you at 150km/h, unfortunately there's no protection for that."

shares
comments
Gardner urges Edwards and Rossi not to blame themselves over Simoncelli's fatal crash
Previous article

Gardner urges Edwards and Rossi not to blame themselves over Simoncelli's fatal crash

Next article

Toby Moody remembers Marco Simoncelli

Toby Moody remembers Marco Simoncelli
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022