The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression
The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?
The MotoGP World Championship will close its doors to riders under the age of 18 from 2023. That is the star rule of the new regulations to be implemented from next year by motorcycle racing's top organising bodies the FIM and Dorna, promoter of the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships respectively, following the deaths of three teenagers in FIM-sanctioned events this year.
In addition, the number of riders competing in the junior categories will be reduced, minimum ages will be set and the use of the latest technology in protective equipment will be obligatory. But it's a raft of measures that, while many stakeholders in the sport believe to be right, for others do not tackle the root of the real problem: an excessive increase in the aggressiveness of young riders, who are under pressure to perform.
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