What happened on the Jerez track between the 2022 Superbike World Champion and the 2018 Supersport 300 World Champion, but above all Ana’s response on social media, fueled a lot of controversy, but also highlighted a problem concerning the coexistence of motorcycles with different engine capacities in the tests.
Just to summarize the events, Bautista on Wednesday 25th slipped without consequences, and then declared to the journalists present that the cause of his downfall had been Ana Carrasco, who took part in the trials with a 600. According to Alvaro, despite having seen her in time, Ana’s speed was so limited that he found her in front of him sooner than he himself could have imagined. At that point he had to change his trajectory, he put his wheels on the dirty part of the track and crashed. “Carrasco should race with the amateurs – he claimed – at the moment it’s too slow to race together with Superbikes and Supersports. It represents a risk”.
The reply of the Spanish champion was not long in coming: “Do you call me amateur because I’m a woman? World champion I saw your table in the straight and knew you were coming. I turned to see when you would pass and I saw you fall. So don’t make excuses.”
Actually the two statements do not contradict each other. Realizing that Bautista is behind her perhaps Carrasco slowed down to be overtaken by Alvaro, who hadn’t expected it to be so slow, fell to avoid it. Between the two, the more controversial statement seems to us to be that of Ana who first throws it on sexism and then accuses her compatriot of looking for an excuse to justify her slip. For her part, the Ducati rider could have avoided calling her an amateur, but for the rest, I think she’s right.
Times in hand the fastest lap of the SS300 champion was 1’48”906, while that of the Superbike rider was 1’38”449. Consequently between the two there are 10 and a half seconds of difference. In Supersport the difference between La Carrasco and Niccolò Bulega (the fastest of the SS) is still important: 7.221 seconds. Let’s also consider that the Spaniard was the slowest on the track and that hers was the last time. In front of her the “less fast” was the Japanese Yuta Okaya making his absolute debut in the cadet class, with the Prodina Team Kawasaki ZX-6R, who lapped 2.6 seconds better than Ana.
Beyond the controversies and digs that the two compatriots launched at each other, this affair has placed the emphasis on a security issue. Is it safe to have motorcycles with different engine capacities and riders of different categories running on the same track? Could a rider who is learning to ride a 600 be able to find himself on the track with the Superbike world champion, who is testing a new version of his bike?
In our opinion the answer is no. In practice as well as in qualifying for races, there is a maximum time beyond which you cannot qualify. This is precisely to oust pilots who are too slow, who could create problems for others but also for themselves.
Bautista said that “at the moment” Carrasco, who is learning to ride a Supersport, and therefore it would be better if, waiting to increase its performance with a 600, it raced on the track with the amateurs. Is it really that wrong? Many went wild on social media in favor of the Spanish rider, without carefully evaluating Bautista’s statements, but above all without thinking about safety, which comes before anything else and must be taken into consideration before any accidents can happen. With very different speeds, a slight misunderstanding is enough to cause an impact that could have serious consequences.
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