Wondering why no champagne was sprayed on yesterday’s MotoGP podium. Well, it was the result of a tragic incident that took place on the San Marino race track last afternoon. Winner of the first ever Moto2 race at Qatar, Shoya Tomizawa, was battling with the lead runners which racing in fourth. After exiting a corner, when the Japanese rider opened his throttle the rear tyre spun out, throwing him onto the tarmac. He was then hit by5th place rider Alex de Angelis followed by Scott Redding. The blows from the two bikes tailing him gave Tomizawa injuries that led to cranial, thoracic and abdominal trauma. Due to his condition after the crash, Shoya was put on artificial respiration and was then rushed to the Riccione hospital where the doctors announced him dead.
Tomizawa’s death comes within one week of the Indianapolis GP, where another rider, 13-year old Peter Lenz, met a sad demise in a similar fashion after crashing and being hit by the tailing rider. The two deaths on the consecutive weekends have shaken up the entire motorcycle racing fraternity. A few quotes from the Moto2 / MotoGP riders:
Toni Elías, who won the Moto2 race at the San Marino said: “All I feel is sadness right now and my victory today is irrelevant. I was talking and joking with Tomizawa only yesterday in the Clinica Mobile and to think that he is no longer with us is truly awful. Even today we were out there racing together when he was in front of me before this incredible tragedy. He has left an indelible mark on my life.”
Dani Pedrosa: “There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing. It’s so sad, terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say that he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave.”
Jorge Lorenzo: “I don’t have many words for the race on such a sad say. It’s a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and his friends. When this happens nothing else matters.”
Valentino Rossi: “I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad.”
Casey Stoner: “I am deeply saddened for Tomizawa, his family and everybody who worked with him. It is something truly terrible and it left me breathless, like a week ago (and the death of Peter Lenz). It was a pleasure to watch him ride and I was looking forward to see him have a great career.”
Nicky Hayden: “I am really sad, we have lost two riders in two weekends. My thoughts are with his family and his team but I think the whole paddock has been hit hard by this tragedy. At the end of the day we are all brothers here. We have lost a talented kid with a great personality. I loved his style, his determination and the smile he always wore.”