In the last decade, to improve safety in the motor world, most circuits have replaced grass, gravel and artificial turf with asphalt run-offs. In 2021, MotoGP installed sensors at the track limits further behind the kerbs before the green painted areas to monitor if the riders exceeded them, something they cannot do more than four times or they are penalized.
Asked how safety can be improved in the lower categories of motorcycling after the three fatal accidents in 2021 and the increase in dangerous behavior, especially in Moto3, Stoner says that the application of the regulations has been a problem.
However, he believes that what contributes most to these attitudes is that the drivers “are no longer afraid” due to the fact that the run-off tracks that now border the corners are made of asphalt.
“I think the support has to come more from the Race Management, ” Stoner commented. “I think there has to be a bit more clarity or definitive decisions about the driving and things like that, because there have been no problems for many years.
“Now there’s all this leeway, there’s no track limits anymore. It just goes on and it’s limited by a little bit of green paint.
“I think it doesn’t help the situation, people aren’t scared anymore because there’s no edge of the court, whereas before, when it was grass, everyone had to control themselves.”
“Now it’s like ‘hey, I’m going to try’ and it doesn’t matter if I go off the track because there’s more asphalt there.
“So I think everyone has to learn to have a little more respect for each other.”
“I don’t think it’s just the youngsters that do it. I’ve seen a lot of more mature and experienced riders still doing similar things.”
“I think it’s all because the sanctions and punishments are not harsh enough and they are not clear and definitive enough.”
“So if there’s a lot more of that, everyone is going to be a little bit more reserved.”
“But for me, the worst thing that’s ever happened to motorcycling is all those extra loopholes.”
“Now there is no track limit and I think it is very difficult to contain everyone inside.”
Stoner retired from competition in 2012, last riding a MotoGP bike in 2018, in his final year as a Ducati test rider.