A BrakeSteerTurn© series analyses of Richie Portes Stage 9 crash.
First off, though it was a serious crash, we’re glad that Richie will be okay in due time. With a long and arduous recovery, surely he will return to form at some point.
Every corner has an entry, an apex and most importantly…an EXIT. The ability to get the bike slowed enough to match the corner’s radius is paramount to a good, efficient exit. (Remember, radius determines speed)
Approaching a corner, a riders focus (in fractions of a second) shifts back and forth trying to manage entry speed and varying braking pressure, while negotiating the geographical layout of the corner(s) or course. Subsequently, speed is sometimes hard to judge when it is constantly changing.
This is why it is SO important to go through the progressions of; Setting up for corner entry, being on proper line, braking (if any is needed) then focusing vision on and past the exit. Entering a turn, a riders primary objective should be to take the proper line and how much speed a they can maintain, not how much they need to slow. If a rider gets entry right, then 99.9% of the time, corner exit will be spot on.
Though the video is not so clear, we can see that Porte was off line for the left-hander in which he ran off. So the question is why was he off line? Well, we can speculate, but the most likely reason was that in the previous corner, he was off line as well. In all probability, he had entered the previous right hand corner to early, which put him out a bit wide on the exit of the right-hander, which subsequently, pushed him to the very inside of that left-hander, entering it way too early.
One of the problems with ‘blowing’ or ‘muffing’ a corner or series of corners, is that if you get one wrong, you’ll typically get the next one or two corners wrong as well. When corners are strung together in a short series, a rider cannot recover in time to be on the proper line. This is why it is critical to ‘line build’ as a rider goes through a corner or series of corners. Especially when the road or course is narrow, there just isn’t a lot of wiggle room. Mid-corner corrections are sometimes possible, but not on narrow winding roads, when speeds are high.
It’s not wet/damp roads that cause a crash. It’s not the tyre and wheel itself locking up that are responsible for a crash. The MAIN causation of almost all crashes is rider error. A rider who loses control of his or her machine, was/is the CAUSE of any crash. Inputs to the machine are critical. Not enough steering at the right moment will be consequential. Too much steering input can be just as detrimental. Too much braking pressure will have the ancillary effect of locking a wheel/tyre up, etc, etc.
But in the end, it is the RIDER who is in control or not… When a rider does not implement good tactics and/or good practices, a rider will often forsake control. You’re either riding the machine or you’re merely a passenger just ALONG for the ride… -which type do you want to be!?