Michele Pirro

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro suffered a concussion and a dislocated shoulder after he had a horrific crash at Mugello. Since he is a wildcard rider, as per MotoGP rules he didn’t have an airbag system in his leather suit. This incident has stirred the system and caused a revision in the safety rules of the riders.

Pirro was approaching the first corner at the Mugello race track when the front wheel of his Ducati locked up, launching him off into the air at 265 kph. In his crash video, you can see him being tossed around on the ground, rolling numerous times before coming to a halt.

Video courtesy- YouTube

As per the earlier MotoGP rules, all permanent riders should have a functioning airbag system within their race suits, but there was an exemption for wildcard riders in their first two GP appearances of a season. This rule has now been changed after Pirro’s crash.

The new rule states that wildcard riders must follow the same airbag rules as full-season participants, with immediate effect for the MotoGP field and from August’s Austrian Grand Prix for Moto2 and Moto3. A statement from the Grand Prix Commission said the changes were prompted “following an incident at the Mugello GP, where a wildcard rider not using an airbag suffered extensive injuries. In the interests of safety, it is strongly recommended that any rider that crashes, resulting in their airbag system being deployed, should change their race suit before taking to the track again”.

Pirro wouldn’t have to suffer through this extreme medical conditions if his race suit had an airbag. This would have been avoided only if the rules weren’t biased to permanent riders. Expressing his emotions over this incident, Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro, said, “It’s the worst rule I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s unbelievable. A wildcard can’t race with less protection than the rest of the riders. I didn’t even know. We have a really professional championship, and I didn’t even know.”

We wish Pirro a fast recovery and all the best.


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