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R.I.P. Fabrizio Meoni

10330 Views 25 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  kowalke67
I never realized how dangerous this race (and this type of racing) is. The day before this Jose-Manuel Perez died from injuries he sustained in a crash during stage 7. Another great, Richard Sainct, died from crash injuries during the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt just four months earlier. In the Dakar’s 27 year history 22 riders have died.

I'm not getting some perverse thrill out of these stats or trying to defame the sport. I respect rally racing and the Dakar in particular for being one of the most unique and challenging races of all types of motor sports. However, do you have to step back and ask what’s wrong where a competitor dies nearly every year of the event?
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I was surprised at reading about KTM's thoughts of quiting Dakar too. I think they are in a devestated state of mind and could change their outlook when they've had more time to come to grips with this. I'm sure the team members are very close and losing two of your greatest riders and friends in a period of a few months has a dramatic affect on you.

Like you say, it's a hard race. There are no lack of willing participants. I imagine the KTM riders would find another ride if KTM pulls out of rally racing. One of my favorite scenes in the movie Le Mans is when Steve McQueen's ex wife (I think) who is the current wife of a racer who was just killed in a crash is distraught and asking him why they race. All he could say was racers live for the next race, everything in between is just killing time.
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I'm not really advocating it either. But I have to admit it does stir my curiosity about why. In the end I'd think I'd discover what I already know, it's rough terrain, fast speeds, fatigue, and a grueling environment. It takes a real adventurer and competitor to subject themself to that. If this was an event held in the U.S. I imagine there would be a big uproar and the safety nazi's and regulators would try to step in. Someone would be looking for someone to sue. Some people are built for living their life taking big risks, we all have our personal threshold. Dakar is a venue that's not for the faint of heart.

Certifiable is probably the case. I read an article in CW on Irish road racing and it is insane. 150 mph down narrow bumpy country roads two feet away from a barrier or a fence. Spectartors lined up just a few feet off the road. No room for error there.
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This is one major race event though, not the overall sport of motorcycling. Maybe a better comparison would be having a NASCAR driver or an AMA motocross rider die nearly every year. They are gloomy but I only wanted to point them out to show what the rally racing world has had to endure from a sympathetic stance as opposed to being critical of the sport.

I want to point out I'm not trying to bring down rally racing or motorcycling in general. I know it's dangerous and I still choose to partcipate, more and more every riding season (additional bikes, more yearly miles, track days, attend race events, etc.). As riders we have to be aware of the risks, know ways to reduce them, and in the end accept them.

Speaking of snowmobiling, the link I posted has multiple videos to watch. One video is of what might these days be referred to as "extream" snowmobiling. Check it out, the riders are NUTS and highly entertaining.
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