Originally Posted by Deadly99
It's fun to debate and discuss
After some thought....maybe non elite should be allowed to re enter after a dnf stage. This would help aspiring racers get into the sport due to the cost of rally but I still firmly believe the elite should not be allowed back in a race once they dnf.
Just an opinion from some guy on the web who is a fan of the sport, take it for what it is
Just to follow on from both MXmum and Ned's latest comments...
Re: "Seeding"... I think it is important to differentiate between "seeding" and "re-seeding".
is the process by which an organiser ranks/sets the starting order for an event. In this respect there can be situations (which as I take it... Sam was subject to in Sardinia ths summer) where a rider (unknown or undiscovered, in a particular part of the world) is assigned a start number/position, that is considerably further down the start list than their pace/skill would normally dictate. Now for Dakar (and some other FIM events) there is a Riders History (or "resumé") that competitors fill out for media/PR purposes (and which - presumeably - get's an eyeball from the Clerk of Course/Race Director) and is of assistance to assigning the start order/numbers. Now this is no exact science... in the abscence of any ATP or Gold ranking system in Rallye Raid sport - aside from say the top 20 "names" (who most organisers recognise), depending on where in the world the event is held, which FMN's jurisdiction it comes under and which land the rider in question comes from and how "reknowned" they might be, plays a BIG part it wheter you recieve a single digit number, a sub 30 number or a triple digit on your rallye plate.
All of this "not so exact science" means (exactly as ned was alluding to in a previous post of his) that riders of the caliber of Daryl Curtis and Chris Birch (Roof of Africa top runners and Hardcore/extreme enduro exponest of highest order) can be issued with #110 etc. when they sign on for Dakar... and some of the "messieurs" with 50 - 80 numbers on their bikes leave you scrathing your head.
I've actually seen a number of top Aussie riders, that have fallen foul of this the last few years at Dakar ("unknowns" in the eyes of ASO), but their attitude has mostly been philosophical; "okay, I'm a nobody as far as the euro's are concerned... no drama, by the end of Day one or two, I'll be running where my results warrant/I deserve."
And usually, by the end of day two, it is nearly always correct... they are towards the front if they are doing okay... and up the back if they've f#¤%ed up... just the way it should be.
One relatively simple solution for this, is to ru a prologue as part of the pre-start formalities/procedures. PROLOGUE = a relatively short - between 5 km and 20 km - special stage: held after the inscription/documentation/technical inspection and before the official rally "start", which quite simply is used to rank the starting order (as per the time set by a competitor) for the events official start ie: LEG ONE.
Prologue is not 100% failsafe (a "quick rider can stall, break down, crash etc. and STILL end up at the back of the conga line) but goes a long way to solving the "seeding" aspect of things.
is what occurs (as in the case of Helder Rodrigues, Alain Duclos and David Casteau at Rallye Maroc) where a "priority" rider who has DNF'd a leg of the rally, is reassigned (as yet to be determined what formula is used) a start position, near the front of the field for a subsequent leg of a rally, despite the fact that their leg result (and general classification position) would normally entitle them to start near the rear of the field.
Now the inequity of this "re-seeding" is that much of it is based on "who" you are, not "how" you are performing. Now to make a point; for the mostpart so far in regards to this topic we have discussed a "gun" rider who gets "re-seeded" back up the front, because their status as a "top 20" rider dictates it.
Consider this alternative
: "Joe Bloggs" experienced AA enduro rider from Eubanks New Somewhere-or-Other, signs on for the rally on hist privateer entered WRF 450 Yamaha and gets #118 issued in the "left overs" lottery for the Rallye Maroc 2013 start order...
Due to the lack of a "prologue", Joe starts the 250 km long SS1, up in the back third of the pack with his fellow "never heard of's" and pretty soon finds himself passing a great number of excellent resumé authors in his way forward through the field of ordinary riders and shabby navigators.
By day three (having passed 40 riders on day one, and 15 to 20 on day two), now Joe has moved up the general classification to 34th overall, and due to his Day Two scratch result will start the long 350 km SS3 in an admirable pos. 27; just behind the upcoming Kawasaki No Bull NRG drink rising star Josés Gottafootindadoor... waterboy to reigning FIM World Cup CCR Champ - Hellyeah Notwhoguess.
Now on the tough stage three, both Joe and José enter the killer dune stage together and as a result of the cumulative effects of a sandstorm, a missed WPM and a faulty vapour lock on the tuppaware Kawasaki of José... the two riders both
DNF the stage (in close proximity to each other) spend two hours out there together waiting for the sweeper truck, and arrive at the end of stage three carrying whopping 14 hour maximum time penalties.
Miraculously, when the "restart" order for LEG 4 is published, later that evening... by some mathematical roulette wheel like turn of chance; Josés start position for SS4 is 27 (where he is nice and close to his #9 Kawasaki teamate Hellyeah... While by comparison Joe is back at 80... 90... or somewhere?
Safety... fast riders vs. "slow rider" rationale...? Hang on a second... Joe was carrying the same speed and had attianed the same (similar) place on the ladder as the factory star... but now he is shuffled back down the pack towards the rear again. Somehow it is "safe" for fast privateer Joe to pass peoples dust... but it is not "safe" for second tier factory gun José, to have to do the same?
How do you spell inequity in French...? I dunno?
But I can tell you it's spellt the same in West Australian.
FACTORY vs HOMEGROWN vs UNKNOWN:
From a purely ethical/purists standpoint, I agree 100% with Ned
expressed view, that a rider (regardless of who they are/how fast they are deemed to be) should start according to their leg result, and (except for DAKAR - where it's "one strike and your out") if that means up the rear in the cheap seats because you DNF's a stage... then so be it.
I agree with Ned's point that the "re-start" rule is a big plus/incentive for amatuer riders; who - having invested a great deal of time, effort and money to get to the event - can seem a cery harsh to have the whole lot flushed due to what could be a five cent failure or minor misshap. So a "second chance" rule (maximum) is a fair way to keep field numbers to a respectable level (organisational consideration) and give the competitor a valuereturn on their inventment and get valuable seat time experience... instead of watching the money they spent blow off in the dust.
As far as FIM "priority" riders is concerned...? Yeah, the grass roots and purists might be of the attitude that; "Hey... the factory star broke it, or binned it... Tough luck, they should pack it in (they can't win) and better luck next time."
But looking at it from the sponsors/team/team management perspective
; for sure I can see why they too could see value in having one of their riders (even a top "priority" rider) who has DNF'd a stage - and has no chance for the overall/podium - in still be allowed to continue in the rally. Testing, R&D miles, sticking around as the "waterboy" for the balance of the race... AND keeping the corporate flag up there and flying.
So the "re-start/re-seed" rule does have a place for the "FIM priority" riders as well I believe... if not for the fact alone that it gives the people that "pay the bills" a chance to get value from their "investment".
That's anoither way to look at things eh fella's.
Think of it this way... as the "formula 450" format proves itself, more manufacturers join the fray, what if other teams like Crackstar Spudzuki
and Poopsi Cola Kanwasaki
start thinking about three, four or five rider teams (more priority riders = more waterboys... = more paid/subsidized seats for up and comers), then the "re-start" rule makes a lot of commercial sense... not just privateers, but even for the "factory teams" in the sport.
It is my firm belief, that any re-seeded (DNF'd) rider; be it a pro or a privateer should NOT be re-seeded back at the front of the field... what the formula used should be; is debatable... but in my opinion, it should be "hands off" the first 25 to 30 spots in any case... because that's where rallies are won and lost.
I can agree that the guys up the back - just battling to make the finish and enjoy their experience - probably don't WANT the added strain and stress of being passed by Salizar Gofastazhit on his factory Kymco overtaking them at mach 2 and generally wouldn't care less if the stars were "re-seeded" futher up the field.
By the same token, I can well imagine that Mitch Isavedfouryears-Toodoodis, who has worked his way into the top 30 general classification, would get just more than a bit pissed, when Jason Superstar gets ushered back up to a top ten start spot, after he blew his twenty thousand dollar factory titanium motor into bits yeaterday, and the team mechanics tossed a new one in last night, while he was at the team hotel.