MotoAmerica has issued the following statement regarding the single-bike incident at the completion of the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike race on Sunday, May 22, at VIRginia International Raceway, round three of the MotoAmerica Championship.
On Sunday afternoon at VIR, there was an accident at the end of the Medallia Superbike race in which Danilo Petrucci crashed after crossing the finish line in third place. Unfortunately, the crash itself occurred off camera. Race Direction witnessed the end of the crash and immediately acted. As appropriate, a yellow caution flag was deployed. By this time, eighth-place finisher Ashton Yates had crossed the finish line, 27 seconds behind Petrucci. Roughly 17 seconds later, race direction could see that Petrucci was on his feet and appeared to be not seriously injured. Although Petrucci’s crash occurred in a fast section of the racetrack, it’s also an area with the most run-off of any track at which MotoAmerica rounds are held. A sliding Petrucci also struck a single lightweight sponsor sign that consequently gave way as it is designed to do. Petrucci was up and continued walking and stood trackside until he deemed it was safe to walk across the track. He was then met by MotoAmerica staff and escorted in a vehicle to the trackside Medical Center, which was some 200 yards from the site of the incident. At that point, roughly three minutes had passed, and Petrucci was treated for his injuries.
“Attention to detail is paramount when it comes to safety and the safety of our riders is our number-one priority,” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey. “That’s where we start, and our process goes forward from there. In MotoAmerica’s eight years of racing, we have never neglected a rider who was injured. I have nothing but respect for Danilo (Petrucci) and his safety and the safety of all our riders is of the utmost importance. We will never minimize a rider’s injury nor their views of the incident that took place. We needed to get to Danilo more quickly and we will study the incident and will make changes where necessary. The situation was made even more difficult in that, although the crash was after the checkered flag, the track was still hot with riders still at speed and thus mobilizing workers becomes more difficult. Additionally, Race Direction places a lot of emphasis on what they witness of a rider’s actions following an incident. Petrucci was standing and walking under his own power and that quickly lessens the severity of the response. We hope Danilo’s injuries are healing and he’s feeling better. And we look forward to seeing him at Road America.”