Originally Posted by Kropotkin
And this is precisely where I disagree. TC does not make riders safer, it merely encourages them to ride closer to the limit, which means they crash just as often, and just as heavily. They take the same risk, but they have to push harder to take that risk.
Take away TC, and I'd put money on it taking roughly half a lap before they were pushing just as hard without
traction control, because it only takes one guy to say "I know the bike can hold at this speed / lean angle / level of grip" to force the others right to the same edge. Granted, it would probably also be less than race distance before someone binned it as a result, but the other frontrunners would be trying to back off 0.00001%, not even 1% or 3%.
I think there's a parallel in ski racing, where the international governing body (FIS) recently mandated that skis must have turning radii not seen on a race course in a couple of decades, in the name of safety—the espoused theory was that they'd reduce speed and also prevent some of the force-loading on the body that results from modern techniques. The short-term result has been that the fast guys still go just as fast, look a bit less polished in doing it, and are actually generating more force...because they're still more fit than racers of two decades prior and still benefitting from two decades of technique development.
To be competitive at the top level in any sport requires that level of drive; particularly in "risky" sports like skiing and moto racing, it also requires the desire to be on that knife-edge of control. I don't care if you put the MotoGP field on Ninja250s with OEM tires and suspension, they'll find ways to take risks.