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Why the Misano Moto2 race wasn't red flagged

When an F1 driver is hurt in a serious accident - for example Felipe Massa's head injury at Hungary 2009 – the session is interrupted (either by a safety car or red flags) and the injured undergo treatment at the scene before being moved.

In Motorcycle Grand Prix, badly injured riders are often moved immediately - as was the case with Shoya Tomizawa in Sunday's Moto2 race, where the Japanese tragically suffered fatal injuries.

It was also the case at Catalunya earlier this year, when Carmelo Morales was quickly taken away from the scene of a huge finish line fall. Morales was later diagnosed with vertebra damage.

Questions have been raised since Sunday's accident as to why the Moto2 race wasn't stopped after Tomizawa's accident, which left the Japanese lying motionless in the track after being hit by two riders.

After all, the Moto2 race at Indianapolis the previous weekend had been red flagged for a far more innocuous incident.

During a special press conference at Misano on Sunday, following the news of Tomizawa's death in hospital several hours after his fall, officials explained that the race wasn't stopped because marshals had moved all the riders and machines before the leaders reached the scene of the accident on the following lap.

But should Tomizawa - and Scott Redding, who sustained a back laceration - have been moved so quickly?

MotoGP Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena was asked that very question at the press conference:

"We don't wait for another problem or more [with the patient]... Many times it is very important to quickly have support. In this situation if you remove quickly, in my opinion, you have more possibility [to help the patient]. Also the paramedics and doctors don't have motorbikes [near them when they are working] on the track. [Away from the track] is more quiet for them to work very well [on the patient]."

Marshals carrying Tomizawa's stretcher seemed to drop one corner of it onto the ground as they walked though the gravel.

After he had reached the ambulance, Tomizawa was treated as follows:

"Behind the track protection we had one ambulance with the respirator inside and we started immediately all the intensive care for him," said Macchiagodena. "I didn't ask for the red flag because I didn't need it.

"After the rider came to the medical centre I had some people asking me why it took a lot of time [for the ambulance to reach the medical centre]. The intensive care started behind the protection of the track. Normally when you have a broken arm the ambulance is the same as a taxi, where you put the rider inside and send him quickly. Now it was very important to have the ventilation and two doctors.

"When he arrived at the medical centre his condition was critical, and we continued the intensive care. We had a lot of doctors but the situation was critical, we had a process for respiration. We checked an abdominal trauma with the scanner because it was a very serious situation not just for the cranial trauma, but for the chest and abdominal.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tomizawa crash, San Marino Moto2 Race 2010
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Redding, French MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli, Luthi, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Bagnaia, Morbidelli, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Schrotter, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Pawi, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Remy Gardner, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Remy Gardner, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017
Bagnaia, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2017

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Hedgeholer - Unregistered

September 06, 2010 1:03 PM

You DON'T move a causalty with suspected spinal injuries iuntil they are imobilised. That is a basic, standard protocol designed to signifanctly reduce the very real risk that otherwise you risk killing or paralysing them. Failure to comply is negligence. The statement about 'moving him to facilities' is spin - The ambulance could have been brouight to Tamazawa if the race had been stopped. It is disgusting. The Italian Health & Safety body are delinquent if they don't go thoroughly through what happened.

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