Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau had a disastrous day at Catalunya today, both men crashing out in a turn-one multiple pile-up. The crash, which claimed a total of five riders, left Capirossi battered and bruised, with Gibernau suffering concussion and a fractured left collarbone. Marco Melandri, the only other victim of the first-corner melee to sustain injury, suffered concussion and a dislocated shoulder.


Capirossi was taken by helicopter to Catalunya General Hospital, attended by the Clinica Mobile’s Dr Mattioli Ruggero. He underwent scans to his chest, to check that the crash hadn’t aggravated the injuries he sustained in a crash during last October’s Australian GP, and also to his abdomen, because he was struck in that area during today’s accident. The Italian then underwent further scans to the left of his chest which had become swollen. None of the scans gave any cause for concern and although Capirossi will remain in hospital overnight for observation, he could be fit for next weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen. He sustained no broken bones in the fall.

Gibernau was less lucky. He will need an operation to fix the minor fracture to his left collarbone. Surgeons will replace a plate inserted after an earlier accident with a larger plate, but they will wait 24 hours before the operation, due to his concussion. Gibernau never lost consciousness after the 195kph/121mph accident and was pronounced okay following a brain scan at Barcelona’s Dexeus hospital. Unfortunately, the ambulance taking Gibernau to hospital was involved in a minor accident with a bus just 50 metres from the hospital entrance, though he suffered no further injuries in that incident. It is too soon to say when he will be able to race again.

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP Project leader
“The first corner of any race is always tricky. But the fact that both riders came out of such a big crash without serious injuries is a great testament to the protection offered by the latest riding gear. Unfortunately, this is the worst moment of the season to sustain an injury, with three races over three weekends and another two over the next three weekends. Maybe Loris will be able to race at Assen but we can’t be sure when Sete will be ready.
We were unlucky to lose both our riders in the accident. Looking at the lap times, we could have scored some good points today. Our congratulations┬áto Bridgestone who had a much better weekend here than they had here last year, with a fourth-place finish, only 13,4 behind the winner. That proves once again how much they have improved at what was a difficult track for them. Although today was a bad day for us, this fact certainly boosts the team’s mood for the remainder of the season.”



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