Algarve MotoGP Revamps Gravel Traps for Rider Safety

Algarve MotoGP Revamps Gravel Traps for Rider Safety



March 21st, 2024

The MotoGP paddock is set for a safer and more sustainable experience at the upcoming Portuguese Grand Prix as the Algarve International Circuit has undergone significant safety upgrades. These MotoGP changes, particularly focused on gravel traps, address concerns raised by riders over the past few years.

Riders Push for Safer MotoGP Gravel Traps

The impetus for the gravel trap improvements came in 2022 when Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia highlighted the potentially dangerous size of the stones used. This issue gained further traction in 2023 after Gresini's Fabio Di Giannantonio suffered a concussion during pre-season testing. The gravel caused his helmet to shatter, prompting him to question the sport's safety direction. Riders persistently lobbied for modifications to the MotoGP gravel traps, and their efforts have finally come to fruition.

In preparation for this weekend's race, most of the gravel traps around the Algarve track have been revamped. A significant portion of the gravel has been replaced with a new type of stone. This offering a potentially safer surface for riders who go off track. Additionally, some asphalt run-off areas have been reduced to make space for more gravel traps. Furthermore, air fences have been strategically placed in specific locations, with a particular focus on Turn 10 – the site of Pol Espargaro's serious accident in 2023.

Emphasis on Track Limits and Sustainability

The circuit upgrades extend beyond gravel traps. New kerbs have been installed at Turns 4, 8, 14, and 15 to provide clearer visual cues for riders and help them stay within track limits.

MotoGP is also championing sustainability at the Portuguese round by implementing a new paddock rule. All personnel must utilize electric scooters to navigate the paddock area. This initiative aligns with MotoGP's commitment to environmental responsibility, following the introduction of a 40% non-fossil origin fuel blend for the 2024 season, with a full transition to 100% sustainable fuel expected by 2027.

The Portuguese Grand Prix promises an exciting weekend of racing with enhanced safety measures and a focus on environmental consciousness.

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Image credit of MotoGP

tag: MotoGP

Klei Hoxha Author

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