SPOILER ALERT: Nobody was hurt in the video we are about to show you. Auto racing of any type is exceedingly dangerous, especially when racing motorcycles. Don’t do this at home.
What you can do, however, is cue up Yakety Sax and enjoy this clip from the Moto3 French Grand Prix.
Yikes. Thankfully everyone here was able to walk away from the wreck that included about 16 of 30 racers. As usual on WSSwB, let’s break this down.
What is happening in this wreck?
A couple things should really stick out, even if motorcycle racing isn’t your forte.
- There’s almost no contact until everyone is in the gravel and have slid the width of the track. A couple riders that were stacked on top of each other were already tipped over before contact, so there’s no collecting other racers like what happened to Scott Dixon in the Indianapolis 500.
- Riders lose control at different points in the turn.
- This happened early on in the second lap. Racers are just getting to a full throttle with sustainable speed due to the engine style where they wouldn’t have had that speed the first time around.
- We can kind of see some clear fluid on the track in the helmet cam footage at the 29-second mark. Moisture can mean serious traction issues for any motor vehicle, let alone these motorcycles. MotoGP confirmed this to be the issue on their Facebook page.
Yeah, people weren’t having that in the comments. The only thing worse than that excuse was the grammar in the post. Embrace dashes and semicolons, bro.
But seriously, there are numerous people including spotters, race officials, security staff, competition experts and fans that all could and should have noticed fluid. As these riders get so close to the track surface, it is ridiculously easy to have the motorcycle get away from them. Safety needs to be a priority in such a dangerous sport that just lost one of their stars in an off-track accident recently.
No explanation was provided on how the fluid got there in the first place. The race was red flagged and resumed after the fluid was removed.
What is this race?
This is the Moto3 circuit, a minor league of MotoGP, the premier motorcycle road racing organization. Fifteen different countries host a race in the season that lasts from end of March to early November. This race was the HJC Helmets French Grand Prix and was the fifth of 18 races slated for 2017.
Moto3 is the smallest recognized class in Grand Prix motorcycle racing after replacing the 125cc class in 2012. While most MotoGP motorcycles are four-cylinder engines, Moto3 has just a single cylinder. It compares closely to NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.
The French Grand Prix is held in Le Mans in central Northwest France.
What happened the rest of the way?
Polesitter Jorge Martin of Spain got a good start to the race that was negated due to the wreck. Due to time constraints, the race was shortened from 24 laps to just 16. Martin was near the front of the pack until he was involved in another wreck with seven laps to go.
That cleared the way for Moto3 points leader Joan Mir as his lead over the pack grew in the final laps. Spanish rider Aaron Canet and Italy’s Fabio Di Giannantonio rounded out the podium with last lap heroics of their own.
Mir now has 99 points on the season and a 34-point advantage over second place rider Romano Fenati. Canet is in third (63 points), Martin fourth (59 points) and Di Giannantonio is in sixth (51 points). The top six racers all compete with Honda engines.
Additional Love for Last Week’s WSSwB
If you missed the most lit college announcement video, please go and watch it. The Green Arrow (as we called her) made the video as part of a scholarship competition and could use your help in winning it. The video with most views wins, so watch and share to help a deserving student continue their education.
Next week we will be going back to our WSSwB roots, with coverage of the National Lacrosse League championship series between the Georgia Swarm and Saskatchewan Rush. First game is on Saturday, June 4 at 5:05 EST and will be broadcasted on Twitter and the NLL smart tv app. Definitely worth your time if you get a chance this weekend.