WATCH | Nakagami, Rins hospitalised after vicious Catalunya MotoGP pile-up

Takaaki Nakagami receives a wallop on the head after crashing and taking down Pecco Bagnaia and Alex Rins at the start of the Catalunya MotoGP

Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami has been taken to hospital after striking the back of Pecco Bagnaia’s Ducati with his head in a dramatic crash at the start of the 2022 Catalunya MotoGP, while Alex Rins has also made the trip after being caught up in the melee. 

Nakagami was taken to the medical centre and then hospital as a precaution after complaining of shoulder pains, but LCR Honda have taken to Twitter to say the early diagnosis is he has avoided a serious head injury and has not broken his collarbone.

Nakagami was the instigator in the Turn 1 pile-up that also eliminated title contender Bagnaia and Rins after losing the front of his Honda coming around the first right-hander.

With the Honda itself slamming into the side of the hapless Rins on his Suzuki, Nakagami proceeded to ‘face-plant’ into the rear-end of Bagnaia’s Ducati, pulling him down too. With the tyre forcing his head up into a second impact on the rear-tail too, Nakagami was seen conscious but groggy in the direct aftermath.

The DNF comes at an awkward time for the Japanese rider amid talk he has already lost his ride for next season having failed to score a podium by what is now his fifth season in the top flight. 

Though a potential career lifeline was thought to have been thrown this weekend when it emerged Nakagami had received many key updates that would have gone to the sidelined Marc Marquez, it is understood this is a prelude to him becoming a Honda test rider beyond 2022. 

It is also his second incident in two weekends involving Rins, who lambasted his rival in Mugello after they tangled and the Suzuki rider went down. 

The Spaniard had made a mistake and ran wide at the penultimate corner, but remained on track, only to find Nakagami coming across him and bumping him down in an incident similar to Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea’s WorldSBK collision in Assen.

Nakagami is expected to be replaced by Moto2 title contender Ai Ogura for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, while Rins and Miguel Oliveira are in contention for Alex Marquez’s sister seat at LCR.