The death of MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli happened just 2 weekends ago. In the time since the crash, there has been a ton of press coverage, and large tributes in Italy and around the world. Top riders like Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner and others have made pubic comments about the tragedy, trying to put some perspective on the event. These comments come from riders who themselves are faced with an inevitable danger that looms over the sport. There is no denying that MotoGP, as well as other motor sports, involve an inherent danger. The riders know this, and must develop a certain level of acceptance. But with the advent of safer protection and better bikes, one must wonder if this danger fades into the back of their mind, allowing them to mount the bikes each race, and perform to the peak of their abilities.
Simoncelli was considered by some to be an aggressive rider. Incidents in the recent past, as well as at the start of his racing career, led certain riders to criticize his style. Similar to ‘honor amongst thieves,’ despite the competitive nature of the sport, these riders need to trust that the others will not be putting their lives in danger, while simultaneously hurling themselves toward the podium. In the following weeks, as well as the off-season, will include reflections on whether Simoncelli’s style may have contributed to the crash. The effort will be futile. In this sport, it seems that second guessing comes split seconds after the important decisions must be made….