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Third Buckler 0.0 Forum on Responsible Driving held at Aragón

Third Buckler 0.0 Forum on Responsible Driving held at Aragón

Álex Crivillé, Juan Martínez, Héctor Barberá, Javier Alonso and Jeremy Ferguson held a debate on motorcycle technology, both on the race track and the road, at the third edition of the initiative.

The third Buckler 0.0 Forum on Responsible Driving took place over the Aragón weekend and in the setting of the new circuit the focus was placed on the technology developed and applied to racing motorcycles and then translated to road models.

Present to discuss the matter was Álex Crivillé, Buckler 0.0 Ambassador, along with Ducati Race Engineer for Nicky Hayden’s crew Juan Martínez, International Competition Manager for Dunlop Jeremy Ferguson, Dorna General Director of Events and MotoGP Safety Commission member Javier Alonso, and MotoGP rider Héctor Barberá of the Páginas Amarillas Aspar team.

Electronics, until now the preserve solely of the premier class, was in focus as the importance of its role in engine control, power delivery, engine braking, traction control and fuel consumption were all discussed.

Juan Martínez stated: “For the security of the riders all the mechanical elements of the bike are very important and require testing. Electronics make up for mechanical deficiencies and play a crucial role in the management of the engine. It’s importance is not only central in competition but also in bikes ridden on the road.”

In the experience of 1999 500cc World Champion and Buckler 0.0 Ambassador Crivillé electronics “were a great unknown for me and I did not understand them. Electronics are part of the present, not the past, when bikes were quite hard to tame. Before this bikes were great fun but they lacked this safety aspect that electronics now provide. I’ve had big crashes at high speeds, but had these systems been in place in my time then for sure these falls could have been less damaging. The things learnt from the circuit have made street bikes safer.”

Another important area is tyres and their transference of the bike’s power to the asphalt. The single-supplier format has brought about a significant change in the working methods in this area, with riders and bikes being required to adapt to the tyres. This has not limited the development of tyres however, as Jeremy Ferguson of Dunlop explained that it should signify an “evolution not a revolution”.

Offering a current rider perspective on matters was Héctor Barberá, who has this season learned the finer points of electronics. Although the adaptation has not been easy Barberá said: “In the last races of 2009 in the 250cc class we had traction control but it was very different to what is being used now, and the bikes of course have much more power in MotoGP. One of the hardest things to learn has been the electronics. I agree that these systems give much more safety, because before we saw many more accidents due to the uncontrollable power. Since the introduction of these systems crashes have been reduced, and the most positive thing is that we are evolving the bikes at the circuit and seeing the benefits transferred to the street.”

Javier Alonso added: “The evolution is very positive. We think the work on electronics for safety is very important. In MotoGP we’ll keep working in this manner whereby each manufacturer is free to continue its developments. In Moto2, however, we are looking for complete equality and for this reason we are not considering the introduction of this at the moment. We have a single engine supplier which is Honda and we will work with them on what the evolutions will be over the next few years. Today it’s not clear if we’ll continue with a single engine or open it up to other manufacturers in the future, although we plan to implement controls over a number of other parameters of the bike, as we consider this to be of benefit from a safety perspective.”

The Buckler 0.0 Forum on Responsible Driving will reconvene at the next Spanish GP, which will be the final round of the season at Valencia from November 5th-7th, and will concentrate on safety on track, at the circuit and on the road.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010

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