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Old 10-23-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
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Default BAD NEWS MOTOGP (spoiler)

Marco Simoncelli just died at the track after a bad accident during this morning's Malaysian Grand Prix.

http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2011/m...bs+to+injuries

The crash happened about 4 laps into the race. Simoncelli was going through a moderately fast corner, lost traction and lowsided the bike. Normally a lowside results in little or no injury since a lowside is a relatively mild crash. Simoncelli was clear of anyone, no one was outside of him, so he would have normally slid off the track into the gravel trap and probably would have been OK. In fact Bautista was right behind him and rode past him on the inside during the beginning of the slide. This is a crash that has happened countless times for countless riders. It has happened to me personally a in a race and I walked away from it.

The problem happened when Simoncelli's front wheel regained traction while he was sliding to the outside of the track. It looked like he was trying to save the lowside, at least at first. The front wheel traction brought Simoncelli still on the bike back into the racing line in the exit of the corner right in front of Colin Edwards (USA) and Valentino Rossi (Italy) who were racing very close to each other. This is unusual for a lowside to end up back in the racing line. Edwards and Rossi could not avoid him and basically rode right into Simoncelli and his bike at full race pace. Simoncelli's helmet came off during the impact.

It looks like from the footage that Edwards saw Simoncelli at the last split second and tried to avoid him but there was no way he could. Edwards crashed but is relatively OK with a dislocated shoulder. Rossi stayed up after the impact and was able to ride back to the pits. He looks to be OK.

The race was red flagged immediately after the accident and then eventually cancelled completely. This is not really a spoiler since there was no race but I have marked it as such anyway.

After this and the Indy crash in Phoenix this is clearly a very tragic month for motor racing.

Simoncelli was one of the newer rising stars in MotoGP and was sixth overall in season points. This was his second season of racing in MotoGP. He won the 250cc class in 2008 (now Moto2) which is the FIA racing class right under MotoGP.

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 10-23-2011 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
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Link removed

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 10-23-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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Strange crash. I bet Colin Edwards has some strange emotions going on right now.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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Video has been removed.

RIP
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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Edwards and Rossi must both feel terrible. They are completely not at fault of course but still... imagine riding in a race and hitting someone like that. It would be horrible.

There are other videos out there but I am not going to maintain the links because the whole thing is just too horrific.

It is clear watching the replays that Edwards at the very last instant saw it coming and was trying to slow down and avoid him. You can see Edwards changing his line and the suspension movement from the sudden transient. Edwards was between Rossi and Simoncelli so Rossi may have not seen anything (other than Edwards changing his line) until just before impact. Simoncelli's helmet was on until Edwards and Rossi both hit him, almost at the exact same time, and then it is clear Simoncelli's helmet came off as a result of the impact.

Edwards and Rossi could not have avoided the collision short of making their bikes fly. The whole thing happened so quickly there was just not time to get out of the way.

This could have easily happened to me. A few years ago riding in an endurance race at TWS on a Kawasaki ZX-636 I highsided in turn 15 (exiting the chicane onto the front straight, going CCW) and ended up lying right in the middle of the corner exit with several bikes right behind me moving fast. I had the wind knocked out of me and was really disoriented. It took several seconds (it seemed like a long time) to realize where I was and to get the freak off the track by stumbling/crawling off the track as best as I could. The race was eventually red-flagged while they removed the bike from the track. But if someone had hit me before that...

I really hope this does not end up in some big stink for those involved or for AGV helmets (Simoncelli wore an AGV). It was a racing incident, Edwards and Rossi are not at fault, and I think any brand's helmet could have easily failed with that kind of impact.

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 10-23-2011 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
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Video is on youtube. It's really brutal. RIP :/
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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http://vimeo.com/30973826

Hurts to watch.

I can hear the talking heads now. "first indy car not gp, bla bla bla unsafe"
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:25 PM   #8
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These guys know the dangers. Still you don't ever want to see it happen. These guys have amazing skill, but sometimes it's unavoidable. RIP
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
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Looking at it again and focusing on Simoncelli's helmet it is clear that one way or another the strap was not in one piece. I cannot tell from the video if the buckle failed or if the buckle strap was torn out from the helmet. At any rate the strap was not fastened into one continuous length and the strap end (right end) was still attached to the helmet.

I think I need to stop watching the video of the accident and dissecting what happened. I have literally been feeling ill all day just thinking about it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure the strap is supposed to fail at some point.


Rest In Peace Marco.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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I will always reserve a special level of respect to men who race motorcycles. They are a level of manliness I will never achieve.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:45 PM   #12
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RIP. That one was hard to watch.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #13
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that was a tough one, just seeing him slide there motionless. RIP
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:39 PM   #14
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Looking at the video it looks like Edwards hit him in the back and Rossi's front tire got the back lip of his helmet which probably broke the strap after snapping his neck. RIP
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:59 PM   #15
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Agreed Jake.

Motorcycle racing is freaking fantastically amazing and intense, and great fun right up until something like this happens. I have seen and have been in my share of crashes, and in the last few years there have been some bad accidents in the league I was racing in. Still we kept on racing, knowing the dangers, because of how much we enjoyed the racing. Even after something like this, I still miss it and still want to go dust off my bike and go race some more.

Simoncelli certainly loved racing and was feeling on top of the world right until the end. He finished on the podium in the race before this one, and was in 4th place when he fell. That is an amazing achievement in itself considering the caliber of riders he was up against, indisputably the best in the world. As horrible as this crash was, and as tough as it is for the other competitors, they will keep racing, not because they are insane, but because they love it.

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 10-24-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:11 PM   #16
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<barf!> RIP.

My buddy used to do amateur superbike racing and he ran over a guy's helmet like that. Luckily the guy made a near full recovery just with some scars on his face and some back issues. My buddy threw his back out and soon quit racing, and bought a miata.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
that was a tough one, just seeing him slide there motionless. RIP
Face down is the worst.

**** gets me emotional.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:51 PM   #18
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That right there is why I moved away from bikes and onto miatas.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #19
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I am an avid MotoGP fan, but I still wasn't expecting this to affect me like it has. I too have had an upset feeling now since Sunday morning. This loss is particulary tragic because the guy was just 24 and had so much potential. He finished second the previous weekend! He honestly was a breath of fresh air in the series, and will be sorely missed. SuperSic RIP. My thoughts also go out to Colin Edwards and Rossi.


-Mike
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:50 PM   #20
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just watched the video. very unfortunate way to go.
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