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Dr Costa's MotoGP dream...

It started as a dream some 33-years ago across the hills from Mugello and that dream turned into a reality 5-years later amid the Alpine splendour of Austria.

Today we take medical care at any MotoGP venue for granted. Be it a broken bone for a racing super star or a cut finger for a team chef, treatment is always available at the Clinica Mobile.

When Alex Barros, for example, fell from the Camel Honda during the French Grand Prix at Le Mans just over two weeks ago, he was immediately taken to the clinic before being given the all clear - but it was not always like that: In the fifties, sixties and early seventies medical facilities at some circuits were appalling.

There is no doubt lives were lost because riders were not treated quickly or correctly. It was amid these circumstances that an Italian Doctor, the son of a race organiser, decided to do something about it. From that moment the grand prix race track and paddock became a safer environment to go about one's work.

On April 23 1972 the American style 200 mile race was held at the Imola circuit in Italy. Checco Costa, the chairman of the Organising Club called upon the services of his son to re-invent the medical facilities for such an important meeting.

Dr Claudio Costa, who'd graduated from medical school five-years previously, was only to happy to oblige. Not only did he recruit some of Bologna finest specialists to help but he started building the foundations that were to change the standard of medical care at grand prix venues beyond all recognition.

At first it was not easy for Dr Costa and his band of specialised helpers. They travelled to every grand prix by road, sea and rail, carrying boxes of medical equipment to treat injured riders.

Facilities at some circuits were politely called primitive and definitely not troubling organisers' cash flow. It was obvious more was needed if serious injuries were to be treated quicker and more effectively.

A mobile clinic that would travel to every event was Dr Costa's dream. Five-years and one week after that ground breaking meeting at Imola, his dream was realised when the Clinica Mobile took its place in the paddock at the Salzburgring in Austria.



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