These clips of the accident reveal how things should have been much worse.
For visceral thrill there are not many motorsports more exciting to watch than a Moto GP motorcycle race. Take NASCAR speeds on a winding road course with none of the same safety measures and riders dragging themselves along the asphalt – just great viewing.
Accidents on this tour are not the same as stock cars, where you count on drivers being protected. When a rider goes down on the European tour you cannot help but hold a breath, and the wreck this weekend in Austria was amazing to behold.
Approaching a 90 degree right hand turn two riders went off course into the gravel pits. Since they lost control ahead of the turn Johan Zarco of France and Franco Morbidelli of Italy were nearly under full speed. As they both took long tumbles through the gravel their bikes went out of control at near 200 miles per hour. Their sleds went airborne, launched back onto the course at the turn’s exit. That was where Spain’s Maverick Vinales and multiple-World Champion Valentino Rossi were traveling through, under speed.
Vinales had to duck his head to miss the cartwheeling machine of Zarcos, and Rossi saw the motorcycle of fellow countryman Morbidelli land right in his path.
To get a sense of just how close everything had been this onboard angle shows not just the likelihood a collision had been for Rossi, but also his presence of mind to brake and evade just enough while in the turn in order to miss both of the out of control Yamahas.
One other angle shows how quickly the whole near catastrophe transpired.
— Nathan Jellett (@Nater69) August 16, 2020
The freeze frame shows the proximity.
This is how close Valentino Rossi behind and Vinales ahead were almost hit by that bike going wild pic.twitter.com/1TZXtSzFWS
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 16, 2020
Most astounding — no riders were seriously injured. Those who went down were able to get up on their own and be tended to. Rossi and Venales made brief pit stops and went back on course. That is a testament to the level of integrity these riders need, and possess.
Franco Morbidelli makes his own way to the ambulance after a crash.
— MotoGP on BT Sport (@btsportmotogp) August 16, 2020