Gino Rea Suzuka 8 Hours accident | 'Serious head injury and swelling on brain'

The family of Gino Rea have issued a statement detailing the full extent of his serious injuries following an accident in the build up to the Suzuka 8 Hours

Gino Rea

Gino Rea was admitted to intensive care after suffering serious head injuries and swelling on the brain in a horrific accident during the build-up to the Suzuka 8 Hours over the weekend, a statement from his family has confirmed.

The Englishman, who was contesting the Suzuka 8 Hours with the FCC TSR Honda team as part of the 2022 Endurance World Championship, suffered a violent crash during Free Practice 2 on Saturday morning.

A brief statement issued by EWC in the immediate aftermath of the accident said Rea - who is widely reported to have been knocked unconscious in the impact - had been treated at the circuit's medical centre before being airlifted to hospital.

With the race going ahead as planned the following day still without any official word from Honda or the EWC regarding Rea’s condition, the blackout of information - the reason for which is explained as owing to Japanese culture - continued on into Monday before a statement from the 32-year old’s family was issued today [Tuesday].

Confirming Rea had suffered serious head injuries in the incident, the statement says he was admitted to intensive care and has since been placed under sedation to reduce swelling on his brain. 

Though there is no mention of his condition at the time of the statement being released, it does say he will undergo re-assessment on Wednesday after a CT scan.

Full statement from Gino Rea’s immediate family

“We couldn’t make a post earlier this is due to the Japanese culture as they do not release any news to media without the direct contact with the family first.

“We arrived in Japan on the 8th of August at 8 pm with many thanks to the EWC, FIM, Suzuka Circuit, British Consulate and TSR racing team for all the help in arranging emergency Visas for us.

“At 2.30pm We had the opportunity to see Gino so we now have confirmation from the doctor about his condition.

“Gino was admitted to the intensive care unit on Saturday 6th August following an accident in Free Practice 2. He was concussed and sustained serious head injuries, he also has injuries to his left clavicle. He is still under sedation to reduce swelling on his brain and to control his temperature, he is due for another CT scan on Wednesday for a re-evaluation of his condition.

“Thank you for the excellent work from the Suzuka Medics, Helicopter Crew and the Hospital staff.

“Gino is very strong minded, lives life to the full and gives 100% to any situation. With him being so fit and healthy it will help him to a Speedy-G recovery.

“Thanks for all the support and messages.

“We will keep you updated as soon as we have any new information.

“The Reas and Berdinis



While friends, fans and the motorsport community will welcome this statement following an anxious wait for news, the content of it - specifically the seriousness of Rea’s injuries and no word on his condition at present - remains concerning.

Indeed, much of the racing world breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday evening [August 7] after former EWC and WorldSBK rider Terry Rymer tweeted a positive outlook that suggested Rea was recovering and might soon be able to breathe without assistance.

However, the official statement strikes a more serious and formal tone, with the suggestion he remains in intensive care and is now under sedation, while there is no mention of whether he has regained consciousness since the accident.

As explained in the statement, the surprising lack of all information - which for nearly 48 hours gave rise to fears of the gravest outcome before Rymer's tweet -  relates to the Japanese custom of providing information to a family directly first before making it publicly known. However, it is understood this custom was complicated by Japan's strict rules regarding COVID and quarantine protocols for any overseas arrivals, a process Honda especially is reported to have helped get expedited in order to secure the family's visas.

Rea - the 2009 European Superstock 600 Champion - is competing in his first season of EWC as a factory racer with his move to Honda preceded by a series of giant-killing performances on the privateer Wojcik Yamaha the two previous seasons.

A race winner and multiple podium visitor at WorldSSP level, Rea also spent three seasons competing in Moto2 with scant success beyond a shock run to the podium in the wet at Sepang in 2012.

Making his Superbike debut with a move to BSB in 2018, a call up to the Buildbase Suzuki team mid-way through the 2020 season led to a full-time campaign in 2021 that yielded two victories at Donington Park.

Rea's crash on Saturday occurred on the fast run down from 130R towards the hard-braking Triangle Chicane. While there has been no official word on what caused the accident - which involved no other riders - local journalists attending the event have spoken of Rea's helmet being very badly damaged.

It is the same spot where Dajiro Kato lost his life during the 2003 Japanese MotoGP at Suzuka, a tragedy that cost the venue its spot on the GP calendar owing to concerns over safety. However, while Kato's terminal injuries were caused by his head clipping a gap between two walls, it is understood Rea himself did not strike any barriers.