Great to see the WSBK and AMA guys doing so well. Bayliss, Edwards, and Hayden 5-6-7 is a great showing for their first time out. And a Ducati on the podium in it's first race? Gonna be a fantastic season...
The expected result but an interesting race anyway. It was neat to see the Ducati running up front for a while and even neater to see it finish on the box. I was happy to see Edwards finish in front of Hayden; imagine how much farther ahead he would have been if he'd been on the Honda.
My elation over the excellent results of several of my favorite riders and teams has been totally quashed at learning of the extreme seriousness of Kato's injuries.
One second-hand report (originally from an Italian site) quotes Dr Costas as giving him only 15% survival chance, with probablity that if he DOES survive, he will be totally paralized. I hope to god that this report is not true.
This has been a disasterous race weekend for Suzuka, with Nicky's crash in practice (he turned out OK but his bike actually cartwheeled over the retaining wall), Melandri's crash, Barros' crash in the Sunday warmup and now Kato. This track, and others as well, have to be seriously reevaluated for safety -- especially the proximity of solid walls to the course.
Kato-san, the thoughts, prayers and well-wishes of the world are with you.
What a race, them ducati's looked really good for thier first time out, they put Suzuki and Kawasaki to shame, I think Yamaha would have done better if Barros wasn't hurt. Good to see our boys do well...you know Colin's bike is not as good as them honda's. I was glad to see Hopkins finish ahead of Roberts...I hope Kato can recover...anyone see how the cornerworkers just picked him up like a rag doll after he crashed? they could have made it worse!!
Considering his heart wasn't beating when they first got to him, I don't think they had a choice. It was either risk spinal injury by moving him or risk brain damage from oxygen starvation if they don't move him somewhere that they can work on him. There really is no correct choice there- both aren't good.
Actually, if his heart wasn't beating, the correct choice is to do whatever it takes to get the heart started. There is no spinal injury if he's dead, so that is secondary to getting the heart beating.
I recently completed a First Responder course (in order to be a ski patrol) and that was one of the points the instructer made. First responsibility is to keep him alive, saving his back, neck etc comes next. As instructor said though, it is often a tough call -- do you want to risk keeping someone alive as a vegatable?
In retrospect, it seems like they maybe should have immediately redflagged the race, and tried to revive him there on the track, rather than moving him to the ambulence first. I wasn't there, and I am not the expert in any case, so I won't try to second guess.
There have been past complaints about the way the Japanese marshalls handled similar situations in the past though. Many of the racers feel that, unlike American or European crews, they put keeping the racing going with minimal disruption ahead of rider/driver safety.
It was an excellent start of the season for the former superbike stars. Those gp snobs who had predicted that none would make the top 10 until late in the season, if at all, were quickly shown to be wrong.
Colin said that he got totally flustered in the first lap with riders going every which way, and he slipped all the way back to 13th. Not sure if GP is that much more hectic than WSB or if it is just a matter that for several years he has never started off the first (or maybe second) row, so has forgotten how messy it can be back in the middle of the pack.
Anyway a great showing for them, and for Ducati and Aprilia. Too bad we don't have a chance to evaluate how Yamaha stack up, with Barros riding with a badly injured knee and in considerable pain.
Great job Nicky! Yea his bike is probably faster than Colins, but Colins been around that track a million times during the 24 hour. Nicky has little experience on it especially with all the rain they had and he hung right with him and even passed him a couple if times. Gonna be a great season!!
I cringed when I saw the corner workers "throw" Kato on the gurney.
I agree I was shocked to see the Japanese response was to keep the racing going. I think a red flag was more than appropriate. You can do CPR anywhere i.e. on the track if needed. I think the European and American response would of been much different.
Loved the race. Ducati deserves a lot of credit. I take back what I said about "Ducati being the Harley of Sport Bikes". I gained a lot respect for Ducati. I always had a lot of respect for Bayliss and Capirossi. I was shocked by the Japense corner workers. I think they should of red flagged it. Hayden and Edwards did great.
And if you think about what Ducati spent on their race effort compared to Honda, I'd say you would have more than "respect". More like outright shock that they did so well with so little. As for the Japanese response to the crash, they are very image conscious I'm sure, and nothing better to ruin a race than CPR performed in front of the cameras on a red flag. I'm sure they wanted to get Kato off the track, and work on him in a private area ASAP. Not the best scenario for sure.
In fairness to the corner workers, I am certain that they do not have authority to throw the red flag on their own -- that order would have to come from the control. Unless they could have done so almost immediately, they would have put the corner workers and other riders at further risk by trying to work on Kato out on the track.
I understand that they have cameras on all corners so the control can make such calls, but that this accident occured in an unexpected area so was not on camera.
I really don't want to criticize anyone involved -- I am sure that everyone did what they were trained to do. It does seem that the standard procedures at least need to be looked at for possible revision though.
This whole situation makes me a bit more sympathetic to those riders and the FIM who complain about US tracks' extent of solid walls and lack of runoff -- with one or two exceptions, most US tracks are worse than Suzuka in this respect.