MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi
has beaten Nicky Hayden
to win a chaotic Catalan Grand Prix - which also saw Kenny Roberts
Jr put Team Roberts on the podium!
The initial race start was red flagged on lap one after a nasty turn one accident involving Sete Gibernau, Loris Capirossi, Marco Melandri, Dani Pedrosa, Randy de Puniet
and John Hopkins.
The frightening incident occurred when the two factory Ducatis of Gibernau and Capirossi tangled in the braking area; Gibernau appearing to slide towards his team-mate - before being sent flying over the handlebars into a full 360-degree flip after his front brake lever was hit, leaving both man and machine cartwheeling down the track.
But the initial impact also caused world championship leader Capirossi to veer sideways into Melandri - with both riders falling hard before slamming into the back of Dani Pedrosa
and John Hopkins, who were braking as normal ahead of them. de Puniet was taken out separately as he avoided Gibernau's riderless bike.
Melandri appears to have been knocked unconscious as he became trapped between his own machine and that of Pedrosa, as the mass of riders and bikes all tumbled into the gravel trap. Hopkins was also sent straight on, and had to ditch his GSV-R to avoid hitting the air fence at the end of the gravel trap.
When the dust cleared, Melandri - who has won two races this season - was left motionless in the gravel trap before being carried away on a stretcher, while Capirossi - also initially out cold - and Gibernau joined him in being taken to the medical centre and then on to hospital in Barcelona to undergo tests.
The first impressions are that all three are fortunately not seriously injured; Gibernau suffering a fractured collarbone, Melandri a dislocated collar bone and Capirossi abdominal bruising.
Gibernau had initially been expected to be the worst injured, given his spectacular somersault, but the Spaniard had tucked his arms in as he rolled down the track - and wasn't hit by any other rider - allowing him to eventually walk away.
The restart was set for 14.30 local time - with Melandri, Capirossi and Gibernau unsurprisingly not taking part - but the chaos continued even before the restart when Vermeulen stalled from fourth on the grid; the young Australian looking around for guidance before pushing his bike to the side of the track. Nevertheless - after more shrugging of the shoulders from riders, team members and officials alike - the start was delayed.