Hayden wants gravel traps made safer

1 of 1

Reigning world champion Nicky Hayden has called for a change to trackside gravel traps to help protect fallen riders more in big crashes.

Hayden made his call after crashing out of fourth place in the recent rain-hit French GP in Le Mans.

The 25-year-old believes his accident, which totally destroyed his factory Honda RC212V 800 machine, was made worse when he slid into the trackside gravel trap at high speed.

The American was immediately flipped into the air after hitting the gravel and suffered a damaged cartilage in his rib cage as a result. His bike was also flipped up, causing extensive damage.

He told MCN his experience mirrored those of Brazilian Alex Barros in Australia at the end of 2005 and Valentino Rossi’s spectacular Assen crash nearly 12 months ago.
Both suffered multiple bruising and abrasions after being flipped into the air by raised gravel beds.

Hayden said: “I’m not complaining but I think we can improve the safety a little bit with the gravel traps. The gravel honestly is still a little bit thick.

“I’ve talked to some guys about it. If you look at (Alex) Barros in Phillip Island, Rossi in Assen and now me in Le Mans, you hit it and just go flipping.

“You definitely need it there, especially in the rain because I picked up speed when I started sliding in the first little bit in Le Mans."

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt