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MotoGP's ongoing revolution in safety tech is putting greater distance between riders and disaster

The U.S. is witnessing something of a renaissance in motorsport. Call it the "Drive to Survive" effect, but Formula One isn't the only series seeing a resurgence in television audiences. Last season was the most watched in IndyCar history.

Ask most of these newly converted race fans about MotoGP, though, and that enthusiasm quickly pivots to anxiety. Who can blame them? Riders reach 220 miles per hour down the straights, they drag their elbows over the pavement in the corners, and all that separates them from grievous injury is little more than a millimeter of kangaroo leather.