Motorsport is thrilling and fascinating, both for the fans and the participants. But we cannot deny the dangers involved. The same goes for the world's toughest rally; Dakar. During Dakar 2020, two riders; Paulo Goncalves and Edwin Straver tragically, tragically lost their lives in crashes. And so, in its quest to make the sport safer, Dakar Rally could impose speed and power limits on motorcycles.



The first step in the direction of safety is what's mentioned above; limiting speed and power. To that end, they are also looking into tailoring the stages in a certain way as well. In the fast stages, motorcycles usually top 180 km/h... on dirt!

The discussions between the organizers and FIM include an attempt to re-route the stage in a way that inhibits such high speeds. After speed, the next limitation may be imposed on power. We may see power limiting devices that soften acceleration and prevent the motorcycle from reaching higher top speeds.

Another thing that is being considered is the removal of roadbooks. It is a system that the rider must move manually in order to progress along the route. In today's age, such a practice is almost archaic. So the organizing committee and FIMare looking into a more modern solution. Something that offers visual and audible warnings to the rider, helping them to maintain focus on the road ahead and not on turning the page of their roadbook.

Finally, this could also mean airbag suits becoming mandatory for all the competitors regardless of the class they race in. While the thought process behind this particular idea is in the right direction, the execution may be laden with complications.

Rally suits are very different and cater to the purpose of safety in a completely different manner when compared to the road-racing safety suits. And so, Dakar organisers plan to hold meetings with manufacturers prior to next year’s event to tailor the kit to the demands of the world's most extreme off-road motorcycle race.

These are welcome changes in the light of the recent mishaps which led to the loss of lives of the riders. While the rally will still be the toughest on planet Earth, the enhanced safety aspect is surely a big step in the direction of betterment of the sport.