After death Paul Goncalves in Edwin Straver at last year’s Dakar Rally, organizers unveiled many changes, with which they want to improve the safety of motorcyclists in this endurance rally. Most of the controversy was caused by the rule that allows use only six rear tires at this twelve-day event, which the organizers wanted slow down competitors.
But the latter do not see the new rule as a contribution to greater security, but at most the opposite. Matthias walkner (KTM), the winner of the performance Dakar 2018, is convinced that the rule will have at most the opposite effect, as fewer tires will yield more accidents and with that as well less security for participants.
"The organizers are showing the will that they want to change things, but not much thought has been given to it all," je Walkner said for Motorsport.com. "If you say that this regulation should restore the adventurous spirit of the rally and make the Dakar more exciting, that's a good approach."
“But if you claim that such a rule brings more security, it is complete nonsense. This will slow us down by a maximum of 3 km / h, ” he adds Walkner: “We always go to the limit and the more the tire is worn, the harder it will be to control the motorcycle. The good thing is that there is a lot of sand here in Saudi Arabia, which is a bit less stressful for tires, but I think that the organizers should not make such decisions if they do not take into account us who drive. ”
The current champion Ricky Brabec (Honda) added: "I do not agree with the new rules, I think they are more dangerous and worse than before. If we have the last six tires for 12 days of racing, you have to drive with damaged tires, but you shouldn’t slow down if you want to be among the first. Others will not slow down either. ”
Walkner was critical of another rule change that now prohibits motorcyclists from making minor repairs in 15-minute interval, intended for refueling: "It's similar nonsense to tires," says the Austrian and adds: "Everyone should spend those 15 minutes the way they want."
“It’s dangerous not to work on the engine for those quarters of an hour. Now, any repairs will be carried out more superficially, as a more concrete repair will mean an additional waste of time, ” adds one of this year’s favorites to win together among motorcyclists. Opinions also differ on use motorcycle airbag, which can save lives in the event of an accident, but motorcyclists fear dehydration, as the plastic wrap promotes sweating while driving.
However, the motorcyclists welcomed the novelty, which the organizers had already tested on six stages last year's performances. Namely, the racers only received notes for the stage of the day 20 minutes before the start of the stage, making the conditions more equal, as I also think Kevin Benavides (Honda): “I see the novelty as something positive, because the conditions are practically the same for everyone. In addition, they also slowed us down a bit."