MotoAmerica changes amid Danilo Petrucci critique of response to bizarre crash

MotoAmerica will implement changes to safety protocol after Danilo Petrucci criticises the medical care he received in the wake of a crash in Virginia

Danilo Petrucci - HSBK Ducati, MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey has confirmed the series will implement necessary changes to post-accident protocol after criticism from Danilo Petrucci following a bizarre accident at the end of the latest event in Virginia.

The ex-MotoGP rider - competing in his rookie MotoAmerica campaign - clinched his fourth podium of the season during Round 3 of the 2022 season to hold onto his lead in the overall standings.

However, despite taking the flag in third position, he’d then crash at the immediate fast right-hand turn one kink, striking sponsor hoardings and leaving him with nasty abrasions and cuts.

To Petrucci’s dismay, however, he was not attended to by marshals or medical staff and instead picked himself up before heading back across the track and back to the pit lane, before heading to the medical centre.

“I crashed at 280 km/h under the finish line that’s on a sixth gear corner to  avoid touching another rider. I hit three sponsors signs with my body, multiple burns, multiple hematomas and a deep cut on the ankle with five stitches,” he wrote in a post on Instagram.

“I rolled for over 100 metres, maybe one of the worst crash of my entire career. And I lying down for over two minutes with no assistance, hearing the bikes passes next to me, till I stand up by myself and went alone to the medical centre.”

Though the crash was unseen by television direction, Rainey gave more details as to the process of Petrucci’s care in the wake of the accident. While he says there was no question his and other riders’ safety is of paramount importance in MotoAmerica, he accepts changes will be made to ensure there is no repeat.

“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. 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 chequered 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.”

Despite the incident, Petrucci remains in the lead of the MotoAmerica standings by four points of Yamaha’s Jake Gagne after three wins in six races.