Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 210: Tragedy At Mugello

It is a rather somber edition of the Paddock Pass Podcast this week, as Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett sit down to discuss the tragic events at Mugello, which led to the death of Jason Dupasquier at the end of Moto3 Q2 on Saturday. We discuss how the crash happened, whether it could be avoided, and how it was handled by the TV producers. Adam gives his perspective of accidents in MXGP, and Neil talks about how danger is viewed in the road racing scene, where it is much harder to ignore.

We discuss how the riders viewed the incident, and how they view danger in general. We discuss the cultural issues involved in how different TV broadcasters approach tragedy, and how hard it is to handle tragedies like Dupasquier's death in a paddock which houses a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds.

We do also talk about the race, it being an important part of the weekend. We discuss Fabio Quartararo's outstanding victory, whether Pecco Bagnaia suffered as a result of racing so shortly after holding a minute of silence for Jason Dupasquier, and how much progress KTM have made at Mugello. And we finish off, as ever, with our winners and losers.

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The riders have made their own bed with track limits and now they're complaining that they have to sleep in it.

Track limits used to be simple - after the curbs there was grass and if you touched it you were very likely going to lose ground and possibly crash. Riders complained and made a (not unreasonable) point that it wasn't as safe for a small mistake to likely cause a highside.

So the grass was pushed back and the green asphalt installed. Then riders started using that bit of asphalt that would have been grass for an advantage to get extra speed on corner exit.

Then riders complained about riders using the green asphalt to get an advantage and they were back to having grass as the edge which is unsafe so Race Direction started handing out penalties for exceeding track limits.

Then riders started complaining that there was no consistency in the penalties so the warning then penalty system was introduced (along with the long lap later).

Then riders (well, one rider very, VERY publicly) abused the warning system on the last lap to win. So the no warning and must-have-a-disadvantage rule was brought in (and this is a known, set rule FYI).

Then riders started complaining that the human element judging if they'd breached track limits was unfair so the sensors have been introduced.

And now riders are complaining that the sensors are unfair and there should be a human element judging if a penalty is applicable.

I really don't know why any one has any sympathy for the riders at all on this matter. They push the limits then whine when someone else does it to them, then cry foul when they get hit with the penalties they asked for. Yeah, maybe some corners need to be adjusted a little, but even if they are the riders still have to keep it between the paint. At the end of the day between the 3 classes 51 riders managed to navigate the circuit without incurring a penalty. These guys are supposed to be the best riders in the world, surely they can manage to stay the correct side of a painted line 20 times in a row?

(I posted this elsewhere, figured it worked here as well)

Thank you Adam, Neil and David. You navigated a difficult subject with equanimity and grace. And I still found myself chuckling at your good hearted humor later on in the podcast. Enjoyable listen, fellas. Thanks again.

Regarding track limits. How about this. Every time a rider rides on the green, the bikes rev limiter gets lowered by, let's say 10%, for 5 seconds? I bet we would see that no one would ever ride on the green ever again unless they made a huge mistake! Problem solved!