MILAN: Italian Ducati rider Michele Pirro has been hospitalised after suffering a high-speed crash during the second free practice session at the Italian Moto GP Grand Prix yesterday.
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.”
Meanwhile, Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso set a new MotoGP speed record but compatriot Andrea Iannone topped yesterday’s two practice sessions in a drama-filled first day’s action ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Ducati’s Dovizioso posted a new top speed record of 356.4km/h (221.5mph) to better the previous best of 354.9km/h achieved by Iannone in 2016.
But the 28-year-old Iannone, who has confirmed he will leave Japanese manufacturer Suzuki at the end of the season, achieved a combined time of 1min 46.735sec after the two sessions.