Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden explain why there's too much margin for error at Le Mans
LE MANS circuit has slightly altered for this year, with the looping Garage Vert corner moved to improve run-off, shortening the distance by four metres.
At the same time, paved run-off was added to the outside of most of the corners, between the white line and the gravel.
Not everybody was in favour, with Casey Stoner one who deplored the fact that riders’ mistakes could now go unpunished.
“For me, all this extra run-off is … not racing,” the world champion said. “It gives people the opportunity to push beyond the limits, and if they make a mistake, pick up the bike, and run off. For me, if you make a mistake you go in the gravel, and it’s your problem. You made a mistake,” he said.
“You see a lot more people making mistakes, but then they come immediately back on the circuit. I think in the past you didn’t see so many mistakes, because they knew if you made a mistake you were in the gravel. I don’t think it’s correct to have so much runoff.
“Also in the wet … I’ve spoken about it in the Safety Commission, if you crash you don’t stop, you don’t slow down until you hit the gravel. It’s not the best situation … it’s a little bit more dangerous,” he added.
Hayden made a similar point.
“We’re having all the rider aids, and we’re having extra runoff. It’s like taking away … it lets you get away with a lot more. Almost makes it too easy just to pick it up and run wide.
“If they didn’t have all that runoff you wouldn’t have everybody running wide.
“If you make a mistake in the race, you should lose time, but here and Assen and some other places you can just run off the track, kind of like the Superbikes were doing at Monza last week, and pull right back on in the middle of the racing line, or in the middle of a big group, really not losing any time.
“Seems like it should be more difficult,” he concluded.
That said, both riders were among those that took advantage of the extra space.
Posted: 20/05/2008 at 10:19
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