Date posted on October 2, 2019
As we near the end of another racing season, I am happy to note that there are many positive things that happened in the world of local racing. The different race series produced exciting and, most importantly, relatively safe racing.
Safety is the priority and on everyone’s mind at all levels from the riders and teams up to the organizers and sponsors.
Track safety as well as the level of preparedness by the organizers and marshals to handle accidents are admittedly still not perfect and leaves a lot of room for improvement but it can be said that everyone’s efforts are markedly higher and better than it was in previous years at all levels. I sincerely hope that the road towards improvement in the areas of safety continue as this will surely benefit the local racers and the sport itself.
The significant efforts and commitment made by the organizers and sanctioning bodies to improve track condition, medical assistance and marshal proficiency during the race events should also be matched by the participating riders themselves. Racers or would-be racers should also do their part in advancing the safety level of the sport by wearing the proper safety gears.
Being a beginner or a club racer is not a valid excuse for compromised safety gears while in competition. Some will argue that a club racer or a beginner rider is slower and therefore safer, but in fact, the opposite is true. A first time racer is the one with minimal or no race experience at all and who will most likely be prone to be involved in an accident than the faster and more experienced racers. The newer they are to racing, the more that they need to be protected!
Full leather suits with back protector, leather gloves, high cut riding boots and full face DOT certified helmets are the minimum. Mesh jackets with padding, heavy maong pants with knee pads, and high cut rubber shoes may be okay for non-competition track days but they are totally not acceptable for on-track high speed racing. Modular or half-face helmets are definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE even on track days or practice!
My advice to club racers, beginner racers and those who plan to race is to invest in proper safety gears first. Looking good on the track is only a bonus, but the real gain is that the amount of protection the proper gears provide will make you more confident in your riding, and therefore will get you up to speed faster. They also increase the chance of you continuing to do what you love even after an accident. Please do not wait for something bad to happen to you before you invest in safety gears.
Motorcycle racing is a dangerous sport and I do not need to mention the many examples of incidents that have affected many people’s lives both here and abroad due to improper safety gears. Don’t rely on the thought that it WILL NEVER happen to you, it CAN HAPPEN to you at any time and at any level, even in a club race or a track day!
Ride safely and always fasten your helmet!
By: Al Camba
*This article was published in InsideRACING’s Volume 10 Number 9 2012 issue.