The elite of world motorcycling has once again become involved in an old debate: the minimum weight . That condition, mandatory in Moto3 and Moto2, does not exist in MotoGP. Something similar happens in the sister world championship, the WorldSBK, where the 1000cc does not need to add a minimum of kilograms on the scale.
The debate was born as a result of the possible advantage of Álvaro Bautista in WSBK. Scott Redding published a text on his social networks in which he reflected on the matter and asked for a minimum weight for the motorcycle-rider set, pointing out that there is almost 30 kg difference between the man from Talave and him.
Luca Marini, speaking to Motorsport.com, was shown in the British driver’s line . “It can’t be that they haven’t introduced the minimum weight in MotoGP yet,” declared the Italian rider, one of the heaviest in the category.
The younger brother of Valentino Rossi reaches, according to official championship data, 69 kg . But that is not the weight that would correspond to his height, 184 cm. Luca found himself with the restrictions imposed by the scale upon his arrival in MotoGP, since the minimum weight of Moto2 made it less important .
“In Moto2 my training in the gym was very different [from MotoGP]. I did very little weight work, because I’m big, and I did more cardio. That’s more difficult in MotoGP. In Moto2 you have a minimum weight, I was 4 kilos over the limit. Nothing happens, there are more riders like that. The difference between Bezzecchi and me was about 8 kilos, but the others had to be weighed down, “he explains.
“In MotoGP it is more complicated; I try to be more strict with my training program and my diet. There is no minimum weight, there is a difference of 10 kilos between me and another Ducati rider,” he says.
But what does it mean to weigh more? “ It has a great impact on the behavior of the motorcycle and on the consumption of the tyres”, denounces Marini. “At many circuits I have the feeling, and the data backs it up, that I demand more from the tyres. I’m heavier and you have to transmit more energy to be able to accelerate in the same way.”
Although, “according to the data, the acceleration is the same”, it wears out the rear tire more , forcing you to drive “more carefully”.
“At the beginning of the season I finished every race with a very worn rear tyre. We have worked a lot on it, and now we are competitive.”
These reasons make Marini understand the rule of minimum weight in the motorcycle-rider assembly as a “democratic” measure.
” Why should a bigger driver be penalized for weighing more?” asks Luca.
“You can’t do anything against that, it’s the nature of each one. I think it doesn’t make sense,” he complains. “It would be better if we all had a minimum weight, because we [the bigger ones] could do more weight training. I think it would benefit even the skinniest ones,” he ventures.
The Moto2 world runner-up in 2020 accused the MotoGP factories of encouraging it to continue without a minimum . “They want them to stay that way,” he says. “When they have a light rider they don’t have to think so much about weight distribution, and that changes the behavior of the bike. It’s something that IRTA and Dorna have to develop, not the manufacturers,” he says.
When talking about small riders in MotoGP there is a name that comes to light: Dani Pedrosa. The small Catalan pilot barely reaches 160 centimeters in height, with a weight of around 50 kg . Those figures played against him in the queen category, with many injuries and muscular overloads.
Marini did not deny the evidence, and admitted that the #26 was competing at a disadvantage, but pointed out that this situation no longer exists . ” The average height in MotoGP is 175cm, and the weight is more or less the same,” he says.
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