Last week the FIM announced a set of new rules for access to motorbike racing championships under its jurisdiction, imposing new age limits from the lower categories up to the Moto3 World Championship, as well as maximum numbers of riders in the field, amongst other aspects. The aim is to improve safety on track after a year in which three riders have already died in the youth classes.
Aleix Espargaró was one of the MotoGP riders who most advocated changes, and now that they have been made he offered his congratulations: 'I am very happy and I want to congratulate Dorna for their quick study and new rules. Last week I spent an hour on the phone with Carlos Ezpeleta exchanging ideas and trying to give my point of view, trying to help. I am very happy with these new rules. I know it's not easy, I know it's not good for the big MotoGP fan - which I am - because we like to see young talented people coming in very early, like [Pedro] Acosta is doing - it's fantastic. Or coming to MotoGP at 19 years old like I did many years ago. But we have to use common sense, we have to adapt to the current times and I think it's great to have these new rules.
In Espargaró's opinion it is first necessary to educate and let the youngsters gain experience in a lower risk context, before they reach higher speeds and bigger circuits: 'For me the most important thing is to try to educate the children to arrive at big tracks a little later. All over Europe we have good small tracks where kids can learn, they can improve their skills, and if they crash in the middle of the track and another mini-bike hits them, the weight of the bike is half, the speed is less than half. We don't need to allow these 10, 11, 12-year-olds to be going 200km/h on a big circuit. They have to wait, they have to improve their skills on the karting tracks with the mini-bikes. I think it was time for a change and I congratulate Dorna on the new rules.