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Reduced crash rates confirm safety improvements

Reduced crash rates confirm safety improvements

Reduced crash rates confirm safety improvements

Continuing endeavour on behalf of the organisers, officials, teams and circuits in the MotoGP World Championship saw the number of accidents per rider significantly reduced in 2004 – confirming the positive effect of initiatives such as the MotoGP Safety Commission.

In total there were 706 registered falls in the three categories over the sixteen-round season, one more than in 2003, but with an average of thirteen more riders per Grand Prix.

That means that of the average 103 riders taking part in each 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP event, there were just 44.1 crashes per round - representing the lowest number of falls per rider over the course of a season since 1998.

Typically, the majority of the crashes came in wet conditions and the worst hit race was the Gauloises Dutch TT, which was subject to a summer downpour on both days of qualifying practice. In total 64 riders fell at Assen, although the difference in conditions was noted on race day when the dry 250cc race became the only event all season not to feature a single crash.

The worst single session of the season was also in the wet at Estoril, with 33 riders crashing out of the second free practice for the Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal in the three classes. The only wet race of the season, the Gran Premio Marlboro de España, was also the most crash-strewn with 31 riders, only five of those in MotoGP, falling victim to the torrential conditions – 14 of them in the same corner.

It is no surprise that in the MotoGP and 125cc classes the men to clock up the most falls were Ruben Xaus and Mattia Pasini – each of them showing boundless enthusiasm as they were crowned Rookie of the Year in their respective classes.

In fact, Pasini accumulated more crashes than any other rider in the three categories – hitting the deck on no fewer than twenty occasions. In the 250cc class Eric Bataille retired from racing after suffering sixteen crashes in the opening twelve rounds of the season, more than any other quarter-litre rider all season.

Riders with most falls in 2004

Mattia Pasini – 20
Eric Bataille - 16
Lukas Pesek - 16
Ruben Xaus - 15
Marco Melandri - 14
Mike di Meglio - 14
Alvaro Bautista - 14
Manuel Poggiali - 13
Roberto Locatelli - 13
Casey Stoner - 13

MotoGP, 2004

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