Inside Track 2013: Captain Mads Korneliussen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Enough is enough. There's been too many injuries in speedway this year and now something needs to be done.
There have been so many bad accidents and broken bones that we need to look at how to make our dangerous sport a bit safer. It's all the riders keep talking about in the pits.
Lots of us think it's down to the silencers (on the engine) we're riding with now. They were brought in two years ago to bring down the noise levels of the bikes due to more and more complaints of how loud they were. But they're doing more harm than good.
They're taking up so much torque out of the power band that you have to ride on the absolute limit to get anywhere. Once you get into trouble the bike just sets off. You're on full gas so shutting off does nothing either. Riders are getting into more and more dangerous situations because the bike's not strong enough on lower revs – thus riding becomes unpredictable.
Encouragingly, a new one is being tested and it's said to be making bikes easier to ride as well as being even better on the noise. It might cost money to buy new silencers but when safety is involved I don't think anyone will care. If the torque was reduced you've have more room in the engine, like changing gear in a car, to pull you out of heavy dirt and tricky situations. We have air fences, air jackets and other things that help reduce injuries. So let's have a serious look at the bikes.
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Perhaps dangerous riding also needs to be penalised with yellow and red cards like in football? Maybe tracks need to start having grip on the outside rather than people being forced to divebomb up the inside?
Or maybe, and this won't be popular with some of my colleagues, we need to work out a way to reduce the speed of the bikes? I'm not sure how it would work. But slightly slower bikes would create fewer crashes. And more importantly it would make for closer racing and more overtaking – which would surely be more exciting to watch.
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? Mads Korneliussen was talking to Gavin Caney.
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