Marc Marquez's hopes of wrapping up the 2019 MotoGP title at his first attempt in Thailand looked in serious doubt when the Spaniard was thrown into a nasty highside in opening practice.

Data provided by Alpinestars shows that the Repsol Honda rider suffered a peak impact of 26.14g during the accident, which is at the high end of the MotoGP impact scale.

The first signs that Marquez had lost control were picked up by a gyro fitted in the hump of his leathers (labelled as 'chest' on the graph). The three accelerometers fitted to his suit then also detected abnormal readings as Marquez was thrown from his machine, prompting the airbag system to deploy.

The airbag, which protects from the neck and shoulders down to the hips, is designed to hold a pressure of at least 1.5-bar for five seconds.

The overall duration of Marquez's accident was measured as 4.81s, with the main impact 0.585s after the airbag had deployed, quickly followed by another blow of around 22g (anything over 25g is considered big*), probably as his body rolled upon impact.

Unlike a lowside, where a rider might experience multiple small- and medium-size impacts while tumbling through the gravel, the brutal nature of a highside means a big high-energy blow upon landing. However, Marquez still took another knock of around 12g four-seconds later, as he reached the gravel.

While Marquez was winded by the accident, struggling to breathe for five seconds, and later underwent hospital checks on his back and leg, he was declared fit to return in FP2... and was soon back on top of the timesheets.

The #93 then went on to repel a final-turn attack from Fabio Quartararo to clinch his eighth world title with a ninth victory of the season.

*25g used to be the highest the sensors could accurately record, for example during Marquez's 200mph accident at Mugello in 2013, but subsequent improvements mean this ceiling has been raised.

The biggest impact recorded for a MotoGP rider with the Tech-Air system was by Loris Baz, who suffered a tyre failure at the Sepang test in 2016 and reached 29.9g. The Frenchman also walked away.

 

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