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MotoGP riders question Motegi safety

 Sam Collins
 Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The safety standards of the Motegi circuit are in the spotlight following the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. During the event two riders, Alex De Angelis and Pol Esparago had significant impacts with trackside barriers, with the former remaining in intensive care as a result.

The MotoGP riders plan to meet to discuss safety standards at the Japanese facility which also hosts Super GT and Super Formula. Tomorrow we will speak in the safety commission because Alex crashed in one place that is very difficult to expect. He go on the inside of the exit of one corner. Usually we concentrate on the outside," explained Valentino Rossi. "With this type of bike and this amount of power it's difficult to understand where the bike wants to go. We will speak tomorrow because for sure the wall is very close to the track. Also where Pol crash was very dangerous. In a normal way Motegi is quite safe but it has some points that can be quite dangerous, like in the case of Espargaro and de Angelis.”

Espargaro himself discussed the accident and the facility at Motegi, especially the use of air fences at certain corners. “It is very difficult here with the airfence. They explain to us that it works if you hit the air fence head on but if you hit it from a slight angle they say it's worse. It's very difficult to make it safer. We will speak about that.”

The Motegi circuit is owned and operated by Honda's Mobilityland organisation which also runs Suzuka circuit. Originally built as a 'Twin Ring' with an intermediate banked oval and road course sharing a common pit and paddock the circuit today operated purely as a road course as the oval track was irreparably damaged in the great Tōhoku earthquake of 2011. 

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