Last Call: How do you get in a MotoGP crash and keep going?

As you can see, this is a pretty gnarly crash and it makes me cringe to even watch. I know the riders have a bunch of protection with the helmet and suit but still. Whenever I see any MotoGP race on TV and their knees are literally scraping on the ground I’ve always wondered how bad a crash would be. I guess now I know. I feel like this would be so traumatizing I wouldn’t be able to get back on a bike ever again. Although this guy just stood right up once he stopped sliding like it was nothing. Would you be able to keep riding after a serious accident like this?

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10 responses to “Last Call: How do you get in a MotoGP crash and keep going?”

  1. Lokki Avatar

    I don’t know…. I used to ride bikes and was a pretty serious Cafe Racer back in the day, and yeah, I came off more than once and came off hard more than once. One of the things I found is that you only know what happened up to a moment before the crash and then after you stop. In between, things happen sorta fast; You’re in the paint shaker for an instant and suddenly there you are looking around for the bike. He landed nicely on his back well clear of the bike, so OOF! and a slide and buy a new set of leathers. He’ll be stiff from the body slam, but mentally it’s not so bad as long as there’s no burning hot oily metal involved, and no broken bone to make you think about it. As it is, he’ll be more focused on whatever made the bike break loose. Was it the pavement, did the tire slide farther than you wanted, did you dip a knee too far? You have some idea, and figure you can just avoid that next time. Now, get hit by the bike, and suddenly you start thinking about how much that bike wants to eat you given the chance, and it gets difficult to push quite as deep for a while till you get your ego back.

    For what it’s worth, I think being in a car wreck feels different in that time slows down as the impact happens and you get a lot more of a perspective view of things collapsing around you.

    My devalued 2 cents. Maybe all this is different for other people…..

    1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

      This reminds me of Keith Code’s advice in “The Soft Science of Motorcycle Racing” to make sure you have stopped sliding after the crash before trying to stand up.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    Adrenaline is a supreme painkiller. I’m lucky I don’t crash too much, but I’ve learned to not answer people when they ask, “Are you okay?!?” until at least a half hour after impact. “All I can tell you is what you see, I’m standing up and all my digits wiggle. Also I feel like God.”

    As Lokki said, the racer is focused on moving forward against a thousand things that are trying to slow them down, this is just one more. “Okay, let’s not do that on the next go ’round.”

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      The number that race with un-healed bones is testament to that.

  3. Zentropy Avatar

    Unrelated: I saw these images on my Tumblr feed this morning, and the car really caught my attention. It’s an OSI-Ford 20M TS, which up until this point I’ve never heard of (or seen). It is based on the Ford 20M (which I think is a Taunus, but forgive me if I’m wrong, as I’m American). It was built by Officine Stampaggi Industriali between ’67 and ’68, with less than 1300 made. I’m sharing it here because I think it’s an exceptionally handsome coupe.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      There have been a few on BaT and the technical museum in Berlin has one. The proportions on these are almost organically perfect, I agree. Never really figured out why they didn’t sell more.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        Very, very nice. I like the regular 20M, too, now that I’ve perused images of it, but while the OSI-Ford looks very Italian, the regular Ford looks like a shrunken mid-60s American muscle car.

      2. Zentropy Avatar

        Very, very nice. I like the regular 20M, too, now that I’ve perused images of it, but while the OSI-Ford looks very Italian, the regular Ford looks like a shrunken mid-60s American muscle car.

  4. Troggy Avatar

    While it looks gnarly, if you look at the rider he lands fairly well after getting high-sided off a fast dogleg. He also did the smart thing and got straight up, facing oncoming traffic. This is what we tell racers to do – if they are capable – at every riders briefing, and even the experienced ones who have heard it a million times before sometimes don’t seemto get it. I was more concerned about the bike that came close to hitting him. That rider did a superb job of avoiding him, and, if he were riding at the track I regularly marshal at, he might have received a compliment from race control.

    I’ve been driving the motorcycle recovery van at a racetrack for over 10 years, covering events from club level to nationals. I’ve never once picked up a racer after a crash who said “never again”. And I’ve attended some bad ones.

    It’s the wives and girlfriends who usually have more to say on the matter…

  5. crank_case Avatar

    No brain, no pain.