There were scenes at the Moto GP this week that make you go ‘owww’ this week when a rider lost control at high speed when he approached the first turn of the circuit.
Michele Pirro, 31-year-old male from Italy, was practising for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello when the crash happened.
The Ducati factory rider approached the turn at high speed, and the footage shows the back wheel of his bike rising off the floor before the bike crashes to the ground.
In the terrifying next few seconds, we see Pirro being thrown from the bike and flying through the air, hitting the ground at such momentum that he continues to roll across the floor, his limbs flailing helplessly.
The practice session was immediately called to a halt and an ambulance arrived. Pirro was treated at the circuit medical centre and later taken to hospital for additional checks, including a CT scan, the Mirror reports.
Amazingly, reports suggest that Pirro regained consciousness and was talking as he was being treated.
Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti told Spanish TV channel Movistar that the rider still had full use of his arms and legs.
The crash took place less than 20 minutes into the practise session, with Pirro second in the FP2 timesheets when it happened.
Ciabatti revealed he had spoken to the Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi, and learned that Pirro had no recollection of the crash.
Speaking to Movistar, Ciabatti said
I spoke a few minutes ago with Davide Tardozzi, who is in the medical centre. Apparently the situation is less serious than it looked before.
Michele recognises people and can talk. He doesn’t remember anything.
Despite being able to move his arms and legs, Pirro is having checks at the hospital for a possible issue with his shoulder.
Ciabbatti told Movistar
He can move his legs and arms, but he could have a problem with the shoulder, so they are going to check it in a hospital in Florence with an MRI to make sure nothing is broken.
Aprilia rider Espargaro spoke to Autosport about the accident. He said
If Michele would have hit the wall… It was a case of one metre. Had he been one metre to the left, today we would have had a major tragedy.
If it was a normal corner it would be dangerous because it’s close, but we are doing 360km/h, so it’s f*cking crazy. We have to try to improve that.
Maybe it’s just a warning because he didn’t hit the wall, thank God, but there’s very little room and you arrive at very high speed, almost surreal, at nearly 360km/h.
I’m still shaken after seeing Michele and I hope he’s OK and that it’s nothing serious.
Pirro has been the official test rider for Ducati since 2013. Since then, he has participated in races every year, appearing as both a wildcard and a substitute for injured riders.
His best Moto GP result awarded him 7th place at the 2013 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix.
Support for the Ducati Team rider has been coming in on social media from shocked and concerned fans.
That Michele Pirro crash at Mugello is physically horrifying. I hope he’s okay man??
— Niran. [IVI] (@TheOfficialFNG) June 1, 2018
Scary feeling at the moment. Hoping Michele Pirro is ok! #MotoGP
— Sienna Wedes (@SiennaWedes) June 1, 2018
We wish Pirro a full and fast recovery from his accident.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.