Two Moto3 teammates collided in a spectacular incident during practice for the European GP in Valencia, with Japanese rider Ryusei Yamanaka miraculously escaping serious injury in a stunning crash with teammate Sergio Garcia.
The crash came as the pair were looking to register solid practice laps ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session in Spain, but the two riders, who had effectively used each other’s slipstreams to improve their speed down the main pit straight, got too close for comfort as they entered the braking zone for Turn 1, and disaster struck.
Garcia drafted past Yamanaka as the pair hurtled down the pit straight, with the Japanese rider slotting back into his teammate’s slipstream as they approached the corner.
However, just as they entered the braking zone, Yamanaka hit a bobble just as he was about to hit the brakes and that split-second hesitation cost him dear, as his front wheel collided with Garcia’s back wheel, sending him flying over the handlebars and landing on the back of his head and neck in front of his bike as he, and his machine, flew off the track.
BT Sport commentator and former Grand Prix racer Keith Huewen estimated that the pair would have been traveling at approximately 140 miles per hour before they hit the brakes.
Yamanaka and Garcia’s collision wasn’t the only spectacular moment of practice day in Valencia, with Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin suffering a huge high-side crash on the drying circuit during the day’s first free practice session.
Remarkably, given the spectacular nature of his crash, Syahrin escaped unscathed and returned to action for the second session of the day.