Why wasn’t the Moto2 race Red Flagged after the Deadly Crash? MotoGP Officials Explain…

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By now, you may be aware of the sad demise of Shoya Tomizawa, the Moto2 racer, following a crash at the San Marino race track yesterday afternoon. MotoGP officials were flanked with questions by media and enthusiasts as to why wasn’t the race red flagged after three riders became victims of the deadly crash. In response, MotoGP Race Director Paul and Clinica Mobile Medical Officer Claudio Macchiagodena made statements to explain their decision of not waving the red flag. The statements, as released by the FIM are as follows:

Claudio Maxxhiagodena stated, “We want to speak about the accident today, a very bad accident involving three riders who crashed and who immediately had serious problems. One of the riders, Alex de Angelis, got up. The second rider (Scott Redding) had no problem. One was very serious, and as you know this was Shoya Tomizawa. Immediately the first idea I think is if it’s possible to stop the race because it’s dangerous, but the people with the stretcher immediately arrived and when you remove the rider from the track for my medical decision I do not ask Race Direction for the red flag because this does not help my job, because we delay the intervention for the ambulance. Behind the track protection we had one ambulance with the respirator inside and we started immediately all the intensive care for him. I didn’t ask for the red flag because I didn’t need it. After the rider came to the medical centre I had some people asking me why it took a lot of time. The intensive care started behind the protection of the track. Normally when you have a broken arm the ambulance is the same as a taxi, where you put the rider inside and send him quickly. Now it was very important to have the ventilation and two doctors. When he arrived at the medical centre his condition was critical, and we continued the intensive care. We had a lot of doctors but the situation was critical, we had a process for respiration. We checked an abdominal trauma with the scanner because it was a very serious situation not just for the cranial trauma, but for the chest and abdominal.”

“He suffered a heart trauma and the best option was to transfer him to hospital in Riccione because it’s very close and because we have two doctors in the ambulance who continued the respiration process, and to go by helicopter was very far and not possible for this process. When he arrived in hospital we continued for ten minutes or more… but in the end nothing could be changed for Tomizawa.”

Paul Butler said, “I think the first thing we have to say is that our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Tomizawa and the team, clearly. Doctor Macchiagodena has explained the situation very clearly. My job is to decide whether to red flag or not based on the advice I receive. The medical intervention was very quick and very efficient because the point of the accident there were many medical services there: several ambulances and a lot of doctors. So the evaluation of the situation was swift. The next stage is to do with the safety of the other riders on the track and the intervention of the marshals was very swift so there was no risk to the other riders. The crashed motorcycles and the debris was removed very quickly and therefore there was no reason to red flag.”

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