Ducati’s Pirro recovering after 350kph crash in Italy

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 11

Italian Ducati rider Michele Pirro has been hospitalized after suffering a high-speed crash during the second free practice session at the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.

Pirro lost control of his motorbike as he braked into Turn 1 while riding at about 350kph, flying meters into the air before crashing onto the gravel and becoming unconscious.

He was treated trackside and later transported by helicopter to Careggi University Hospital in Florence, Italy, for scans.

Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti later said that the 31-year-old was awake and alert.

“I spoke a few minutes ago with [Ducati team manager] Davide Tardozzi, who is in the medical center,” Ciabatti told Spanish TV channel Movistar. “Apparently the situation is less serious than it looked before.”

“Michele recognizes people and can talk. He doesn’t remember anything,” he said. “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 [magnetic resonance imaging scan] to make sure nothing is broken.”

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo said the entire team had been shaken.

“The fall was scary, I saw him after it happened and I don’t ever want to see that again,” Lorenzo said.

“Michele is a friend. We have to wait 24 hours before we understand what happened. The cause I don’t know,” the three-time world MotoGP champion said, adding that the problem could have been the brakes.

Pirro, who is Ducati’s designated test rider, was making a wild-card appearance at the Mugello Circuit with the Italian manufacturer.