Barbagallo in the news

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Barbagallo in the news

Post by BrockaDavis » Sun May 29, 2016 10:00 am

I know some of our members test their skills at Barbagallo. I was wondering if you agree with this article?

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Re: Barbagallo in the news

Post by KURODORI » Mon May 30, 2016 1:12 pm

I've done many track days at this circuit over the past 5 years, Bruce, and did my farewell track day there in February. Fortunately I've never had an off at Wanneroo, although I have witnessed a number of nasty falls.

Firstly you have to realise that the Wanneroo circuit is owned by the WA Sporting CAR Club and as a result very few concessions appear to have been made to the particular safety requirements of motorcycle racing.

The runoff areas are patently inadequate, particularly at the end of the main straight approaching turn 7, where racers can be travelling at speeds around 250+ km/hr (~70m/sec) before braking for the turn. I've seen many riders misjudge this turn over the years. At this point, a motorcycle that leaves the track hits the sand in the runoff area, and instead of skittering across its surface as it would if the trap consisted of pebbles, stops abruptly. For the same reason the rider, hitting the sand, is often injured when he/she also comes to a sudden stop. In a case where the rider is unlucky enough to be catapulted across the sand trap, the next stop for him/her is a concrete wall. On other corners on the circuit, there are very robust tractor tyres which do the same mischief to the human body as a concrete wall.

While Motorcycling WA (surprisingly) and the WASCC claim the track complies with the necessary standards and rejected the claim the circuit is unsafe, then perhaps the so-called standards need examination.

In many ways the Wanneroo circuit is a good one on which to improve your riding. The surface is quite grippy and drains well when it's wet. It may only be 2.4kms, but the layout of the circuit tests your ability to ride smoothly and consistently. If all you want to do is ride as fast as you can, then find another circuit. Riding well at Wanneroo is all about riding smoothly.

While I've spent a lot of time on the Wanneroo circuit, I've never raced on it. My time there has been with an organisation that is in the business of "advanced motorcycle training" and I must say that the time I've spent there has improved my riding skills quite considerably.

Motorcycle racing, however, is sport. People do it to win. To win, you take risks that other people don't normally take, as I think most sports people would agree. I think it behoves the owners of this venue, who make money when the circuit is used for motorcycle racing, to ensure that it is as safe for the purpose as they can make it. It's one thing to claim that it's "up to the standard", but perhaps five motorcycle deaths in 16 years is telling us that some consideration should be given to upgrading safety at this track.
"The rare power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by the countless who have not got it, and even common sense is not so common" -- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

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