MotoGP Race Director Paul Butler, Claude Danis (FIM), Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Clinica Mobile Medical Officer Claudio Macchiagodena, and Javier Alonso (Dorna) held a press conference following the sad death of the Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa.
Race Director Paul Butler, the FIM’s Claude Danis, Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena of the Clinica Mobile, and Javier Alonso from Dorna were present at a press conference in which they each made statements following the tragic death of Shoya Tomizawa following a crash in the Moto2 race at Misano.
Claudio Macchiagodena says: “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 says: “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.”
Claude Danis says: “I would just like to confirm what Paul said. We thought after consultation together that it was not necessary to stop the race because it seemed everything would be okay when the riders come round for the next lap, and that was the case. Of course today is a very sad day for all of us and on behalf of the FIM I would like to express my very deep condolences to the family of Tomizawa, to the team and to his friends. Things like that happen sometimes, hopefully not very often, and that is racing.”
Franco Uncini says: “We are very close to the family, to the friends, the team and everybody close to him. We can say that what happened was nothing to do with the safety. These kinds of injuries unfortunately could happen at any time. With the technology we have at this moment it’s very difficult to solve this problem but we are trying to work on this and try and have something that in the future will help us have less damage in this kind of incident.”
Javier Alonso says: “Today we lost an excellent person, of course a good rider but first of all an excellent person and we are very sorry for that. We are very sorry for the family of course and for the team, and just a small clarification because it looks like the news that unfortunately Tomizawa had passed away came out before we officially announced it. That was because we wanted to inform the family first. So the first thing we did when we received the news was to inform the family.”