THINGS are looking good for motorcycles to return to Barbagallo Raceway.
Motorcycling WA, the governing body of bike racing in WA, says the key players in the issue are working towards a return to non-racing bike activities at the circuit “in the short term” and an all-clear for a return to racing “prior to the start of next season”.
MWA chief executive Rick Gill says it’s too early to name a specific date for a re-opening.
“But with the willingness of everyone to work towards a common goal of getting bikes back, I am sure we will quickly resolve a good plan of action,” he said.
The circuit was closed to bikes on November 10 after a second fatal crash for 2016. Chris Adley, 21, fell off his bike and was run over by the rider behind him during a race at the Kings of Wanneroo event on November 5. In May, Daniel Chadbund, 28, was killed when he was thrown from his bike and struck a tyre wall during the opening round of the 2016 State Road Racing Championships. There have been six fatal crashes at Barbagallo in 16 years.
Motorcycling Western Australia met with Motorcycling Australia, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Barbagallo safety report author Chris Hall, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, the City of Wanneroo and the West Australian Sporting Car Club on November 23 to work on a plan to have bikes back at Barbagallo.
The result of the meeting was a series of actions to mitigate risks identified with the aim to have motorcycles return for non-racing activities in the short term, and for racing prior to the start of next season. A further meeting between MWA and the WASCC is planned soon to work further details and put timelines in place.
On November 9, the Department of Sport and Recreation provided Motorcycling Western Australia and the operators or Barbagallo Raceway, the WA Sporting Car Club, with a report regarding safe motorcycle and car competition at the venue.
The report conducted by Mr Chris Hall, an engineer with experience in accident reconstruction and motor sport safety was commissioned by DSR with cooperation of MWA, and compared the MA Track Guidelines (2006) to approximated FIM International requirements, and suggestions for treatments to lower risk factors.
As a precaution and based on the recommendation of the Hall Report that racing activities be suspended until additional treatments be put in place to reduce risk at the circuit, MWA suspended all racing activity until the technical recommendations could be assessed.
The Dept. of Sport and Recreation wanted all bike activity to stop until improvements could be made. In line with this, the lessee of the venue, the WASCC, took the precautionary approach of not hiring their venue for any motorcycle activity based on the Hall Report findings.