February target set for bikes to return to Barbagallo Raceway

WESTERN Australia’s Motorcycle Racing Club has set a target return date of February 19 for motorcycles to be allowed back onto Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway.

There has been no motorcycle activity at Barbagallo since November 10 last year when circuit operator, the WA Sports Car Club, banned bikes after the release of a report into safety. The report said there were multiple instances where the circuit did not comply with motorcycle racing industry safety guidelines.

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Two riders died in separate incidents at the circuit in 2016. 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. Then in November, 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. The two deaths took to six the number of fatalities at Barbagallo in 16 years.

Work at the track in recent weeks has included the extension of a wall of tyres at the track’s seventh corner, where Daniel Chadbund crashed.

 In his report into safety at the circuit, engineer Chris Hall said the circuit was associated with “a significant number of critical risk items” that rendered it “unsafe for motorcycle racing due to an unacceptable risk of serious injury”. Mr Hall identified several corners which he said had insufficient run offs.

“(However) many of the safety issues associated with the insufficient run-offs can be overcome for the short to medium term, without altering barrier alignments, through designed placement, alignment and construction of appropriate energy absorbing devices,” he said.

After the most recent works at the track last week, the Motorcycle Racing Club said: “We are hopeful that with the completion of scheduled works by the end of this week and the follow-up inspection by Motorcycling Australia (and) Motorcycling Western Australia, that the re-opening of the track by the WA Sporting Car Club / City of Wanneroo for motorcycles will follow soon. It is hoped that MCRC and RidedaysWA will return to the track on February 19th.”