Top Five Bonehead Plays of the Pros.
I’ve done the top ten reasons racers crash (page “ZE. Rollin’ and Tumblin’”), which are often the result of a rider error. This is a little different in that it lists five really bonehead moves done by top level road racers. In no particular order we have:
Crashing on the cool-off lap.
In 2009 Alvaro Bautista finished in 3rd place in the 250GP race at Brno, and then looped his Aprillia doing a celebratory wheelie. He ended up sliding on his ass while watching his bike cartwheel down the track, shedding parts and destroying the front end. I imagine Bastista’s team had to deliver his bike to parc ferme for post-race tech in boxes.
Not being able to count to ten.
In 2013 at the Australian MotoGP race at Philip Island tire problems caused the FIM to require riders to pit and switch bikes on lap 9 or lap 10 of the shortened 19 lap race. Bridgestone could not guarantee their tires would last more than that. Racer Marc Marquez stayed out for 11 laps, resulting in his disqualification and ZERO points. His rival Jorge Lorenzo got the win. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2468571/Moto-GP-Australian-Grand-Prix-Marc-Marquez-disqualified.html.
Losing track of the number of laps.
In a typically very close Moto3 race at the 2013 Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno, Alex Rins thought he had won the race and started celebrating – sat up, eased off the throttle, did some fist waves, etc. Then about 12 competitors went past him, all in full tuck on full throttle. There was one lap still to go. Doh! Rins realized his error, started racing again but it was too late. He finished 9th instead of a likely 1st or 2nd place podium.
Being in front on the last lap of a “drafting-style” track.
This seldom works out well. Reg Pridmore made this error at the 1976 Daytona Superbike race. He came out of the chicane barely in front of Steve McLaughlin on the last lap. McLaughlin drafted Pridmore through the banking and slingshot past at the finish line to win the race by THREE INCHES. With no transponders in those days the final results had to wait for the photographs – it was literally a photo finish as no one could tell with the naked eye who had taken the win. Sorry no video of this one.
Ignoring the waving yellow and red/yellow “reduced traction” warning flags.
This was another bonehead Marc Marquez move during his rookie MotoGP season. Cal Crutchlow crashed the Tech 3 Yamaha braking for a left turn during practice for the 2013 Silverstone British Grand Prix. Marquez’s bike slid into Crutchlow’s bike while the turn workers were trying to pick it up. They could have been seriously injured but escaped. Marquez had a dislocated collarbone from the incident but no one else was hurt.
There you have it – the top five bonehead mistakes of top-level racers. I’m sure there are others I’ve missed. Feel free to reply to this page if you have similar stories to share.