Milan – Italian Ducati rider Michele Pirro has been hospitalised after suffering a high-speed crash during the second free practice session at the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.
The 31-year-old lost control of his motorbike as he braked into Turn 1 while riding at about 350kmh (217.5mph), flying metres into the air before crashing onto the gravel and losing consciousness.
He was treated trackside and later transported by helicopter to the Careggi hospital in Florence for scans.
Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti later said that Pirro was awake and alert.
“I spoke a few minutes ago with (Ducati team manager) Davide Tardozzi, who is in the medical centre,” Ciabatti told Spanish TV channel Movistar.
“Apparently the situation is less serious than it looked before.
“Michele recognises people and can talk. He doesn’t remember anything.
“He can move his legs and arms, but he could have a problem with the shoulder, so they are going to check it in a hospital in Florence with an MRI (scan) to make sure nothing is broken.”
MotoGP’s medical chief Angel Charte later confirmed Pirro had suffered severe concussion as well as neck, chest and back injuries and a dislocated shoulder.
“The rider is conscious, he’s talking, he’s moving all limbs normally and his neurological situation is normal,” he added.
Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo said the entire team had been shaken.
“The fall was scary, I saw him after it happened and I don’t ever want to see that again,” said Lorenzo.
“Michele is a friend. We have to wait 24 hours before we understand what happened. The cause I don’t know,” the three-time world MotoGP champion said, adding the problem could have been the brakes.
Pirro, who is Ducati’s designated test rider, was making a wildcard appearance in Mugello with the Italian manufacturer.
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