The issue of riders sustaining serious friction burns in crashes, after becoming tangled up with their opponents rear tyres, has come to a head this year, following two separate high profile incidents involving Nicki Pedersen & Jason Crump.
In this weeks Speedway Star, former World Champion Peter Collins displays his "tyre hugger" device that aims to prevent this type of injury, and he is campaigning to make it compulsory throughout the sport. There are however rear guards that are already on the market (such as the Race-Bitz guard used by Antonio Lindback) that attempt to solve the problem by running the guard much closer to the tyre. The Race-Bitz design also solves the problem of a rider striking the solid metal "lift bar" that speedway bikes traditionally have, by moving it closer to the seat, as part of the seat bracket. This means that a rider can "bail out" without the bar getting in his way and he can't strike it with his lower back in a crash.
Safety issues must always be a priority in the sport, but perhaps what is needed more than a compulsory item that every rider is forced to use, is a tightening of the scrutineering regulations in this area.
Photos by Eddie Garvey/Speedway Star, Fredric Svalin & Michal Szmyd.
Posted by KTL at 09:27