Advertisement

Elite Motorcycle Racing: Crash Types and Injury Patterns in the MotoGP Class

  • John Bedolla
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 512 903 5755.
    Affiliations
    Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Suite 1.114, Austin, TX 78723

    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jaron Santelli
    Affiliations
    Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Suite 1.114, Austin, TX 78723

    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701
    Search for articles by this author
  • John Sabra
    Affiliations
    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701

    General Surgery, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Suite 1.114, Austin, TX 78723
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jose G. Cabanas
    Affiliations
    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701

    City of Austin EMS, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Suite 1.114, Austin, TX 78723
    Search for articles by this author
  • Chris Ziebell
    Affiliations
    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701

    Emergency Department, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Suite 1.114, Austin, TX 78723
    Search for articles by this author
  • Steve Olvey
    Affiliations
    Seton Event Medicine Institute (SEMI), University Medical Center Brackenridge, 1400 North IH-35, CEC 2.230, Austin, TX 78701

    Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami, 1611 NW 12th Ave Suite 405, Miami, FL 33136
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Background

      Crashes are a small but regular feature of elite motorcycle racing. These crashes provide a novel opportunity to benchmark and analyze motorcycle crash mechanics, crash types, and associated injuries at high speeds in a cohort of riders who are well protected and in a controlled environment.

      Purpose

      The purpose was to benchmark the prevalence of injuries, categorize crash subtypes, and determine associated injury patterns.

      Methods

      This was an institutional review board–approved, prospective observational cohort study of MotoGP riders for 1 racing season in 3 venues. Accident type was determined by race-marshal report and visual analysis of race footage for each crash. Accident types were defined as lowside (falling toward the inside of the turn), highside (falling over and toward the outside of the turn), and topside (going over the handlebars of the motorcycle). Specific injuries and hospital admission data were collected using a standardized data collection form. Basic descriptive statistics were performed on all categorical variables. We used the exact binomial test examine the association between accident type and retirement from race, transport to medical building, transport to hospital, and injuries sustained.

      Results

      Crash prevalence was 9.7 per hundred rider hours. There were 78 crashes: 58 lowsides, 13 highsides, 2 topsides, and 5 indeterminate. In the lowside group (n = 58), 19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.46) riders retired, 0 required emergent transportation to the track facility or to the hospital, and 1 (95% CI, <0.1-0.9) significant injury was noted. In the highside group (n = 13), 10 (95% CI, 0.46-0.95) retired, 9 (95% CI, 0.39-0.91) were transported to the track medical facility, and 3 (95% CI, 0.05-0.54) were admitted to the hospital. In the highside group, there were 7 (95% CI, 0.25-0.81) significant injuries. In the topside group, both riders were retired with 1 hospital admission. Lowside crashes had a lower rate of retirement from race, emergent transport, and significant injuries compared with highside crashes.

      Conclusions

      Lowside crashes are lower risk than highside crashes. Most highside crashes are caused by oversteering to prevent an impending lowside crash. Strategies to reduce oversteering to prevent a lowside crash may reduce highside crashes, enhance the safety for riders in MotoGP racing, and be applicable to recreational motorcycle riding.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Tomida Y
        • Hirata H
        • Fukuda A
        • Tsujii M
        • Kato K
        • Fujisawa K
        • et al.
        Injuries in elite motorcycle racing in Japan.
        Br J Sports Med. 2005; 39: 508-511
        • Chapman MA
        • Oni J
        Motor racing accidents at brands hatch, 1988–9.
        Br J Sports Med. 1991; 25: 121-123
        • Horner CH
        • O'Brien AA
        Motorcycle racing injuries on track and road circuits in Ireland.
        Br J Sports Med. 1986; 20: 157-158
        • Edwards MJ
        • Lewis JD
        • Pritts TA
        • Keller JE
        • Broadwater R
        • Robertson R
        Track configuration determines risk of rider injury in open wheel motor racing.
        Am Surg. 2009; 75: 857-859
      1. Investigation committee into the cause of Daijiro Kato's fatal crash publish their results [press release].
        (http://www.motogp.com:) DORNA Sports SL, 2003 ([20 July 2015])
      2. Another death casts shadow over sport.
        New York Times, 2010
      3. Shoya Tomizawa dies after San Marino crash. BBC Sport [Internet].
        Date: 2010
        ([5 July 2015. Available from:])
      4. Race direction press conference: Marco Simoncelli [press release].
        (http://www.motogp.com) DORNA Sports SL, 2011
      5. Marco Simoncelli dies after crash at Sepang. BBC Sport [Internet].
        Date: 2011
        ([20 July 2015. Available from:])
        • Lin MR
        • Kraus JF
        A review of risk factors and patterns of motorcycle injuries.
        Accid Anal Prev. 2009; 41: 710-722
        • Beck LF
        • Dellinger AM
        • O'Neil ME
        Motor vehicle crash injury rates by mode of travel, United States: using exposure-based methods to quantify differences.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2007; 166: 212-218
        • Kraus JF
        • Peek-Asa C
        • Cryer HG
        Incidence, severity, and patterns of intrathoracic and intra-abdominal injuries in motorcycle crashes.
        J Trauma. 2002; 52: 548-553
        • Newgard CD
        Recent trends in fatal motorcycle crashes: an update.
        Ann Emerg Med. 2007; 50: 193-196
        • Brewer BL
        • Diehl 3rd, AH
        • Johnson LS
        • Salomone JP
        • Wilson KL
        • Atallah HY
        • et al.
        Choice of motorcycle helmet makes a difference: a prospective observational study.
        J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013; 75: 88-91
        • de Rome L
        • Ivers R
        • Fitzharris M
        • Du W
        • Haworth N
        • Heritier S
        • et al.
        Motorcycle protective clothing: protection from injury or just the weather?.
        Accid Anal Prev. 2011; 43: 1893-1900
        • de Rome L
        • Ivers R
        • Fitzharris M
        • Haworth N
        • Heritier S
        • Richardson D
        Effectiveness of motorcycle protective clothing: riders' health outcomes in the six months following a crash.
        Injury. 2012; 43: 2035-2045
        • de Rome L
        • Meredith L
        • Ivers R
        • Brown J
        Validation of the principles of injury risk zones for motorcycle protective clothing.
        J Safety Res. 2014; 50: 83-87
        • Lin MR
        • Tsauo JY
        • Hwang HF
        • Chen CY
        • Tsai LW
        • Chiu WT
        Relation between motorcycle helmet use and cervical spinal cord injury.
        Neuroepidemiology. 2004; 23: 269-274
        • Meredith L
        • Brown J
        • Ivers R
        • De Rome L
        Distribution and type of crash damage to motorcyclists' clothing: validation of the zone approach in the European standard for motorcycle protective clothing, EN13595.
        Traffic Inj Prev. 2014; 15: 501-507
      6. Ann Emerg Med. 2009; 53: 501
        • Hackney RG
        • Varley G
        • Stevens D
        • Green A
        Trauma on the Isle of Man.
        Br J Sports Med. 1993; 27: 9-13
        • Varley GW
        • Spencer-Jones R
        • Thomas P
        • Andrews D
        • Green AD
        • Stevens DB
        Injury patterns in motorcycle road racers: experience on the Isle of Man 1989–1991.
        Injury. 1993; 24: 443-446
      7. List of Snaefel course fatalities. Wikipedia.
        Date: 2015
        ([04 July 2015. Available from:])
        • Park GR
        Club motorcycle racing medical aid and types of injury.
        J R Army Med Corps. 1981; 127: 87-92
      8. Rules for MotoGP Http://Www.Fim-live.Com: FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme).
        Date: 2015
        ([cited 2015 July 21. Available from:])