MotoGP Safety Concerns after Spanish GP in Jerez 2023
Updated: May 11
Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Debargha Banerjee
Round Four of the 2023 MotoGP Championship took place at the end of April, and whilst it was an interesting and thrilling couple of days with plenty to talk about, one of the scariest accidents that is all too familiar to MotoGP, took place on both Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, the Sprint Race took place shortly after qualifying for the Spanish GP in Jerez. On the opening lap, Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez came off their bikes at the low speed corner, Turn 2, with VR46 Rider Marco Bezzecchi having nowhere to go, and ended up smashing straight into Morbidelli’s grief-stricken motorcycle.
Now, there has been some footage which showcases that Marco Bezzecchi was actually lying down in the gravel trap, motionless, just before some marshals and medics managed to get to him. Bezzecchi was able to rejoin the Sprint Race, just less than 15 minutes later, where he managed to finish P9. Now, despite being cleared to race, one must wonder that going from laying seemingly injured and unconscious, and then riding a motorcycle at over 100mph just 15 minutes later, is probably not what your doctor would recommend.
In all seriousness, this does call into question just how safe these MotoGP riders are, because all it takes is something to not be immediately clear to the medics, to then send a rider out to their potential peril.
But it got even worse.
On Sunday, Fabio Quartararo was riding aggressively after qualifying in P16, but very much in a controlled manner. However, he got squeezed in between the RNF Aprilia of Miguel Oliveira and the VR46 Ducati of Marco Bezzecchi, again at Turn 2 - and he went down with Oliveira. Again, footage has shown that Fabio Quartararo was face-down and similarly to Marco Bezzecchi, not moving.
Now, to MotoGP fans who have been watching for just over a decade and if not, more - they will of course remember the devastating incidents that we have had in this modern era of MotoGP. It was only just over a decade ago since we lost the iconic Marco Simoncelli, and since then we have lost other riders in Moto3 and Moto2, like Luis Salom and Jason Dupasquier.
Of course, MotoGP is only ever going to be safe to a point, because the danger is always a factor that everyone is aware of when watching or participating in Motorsport. However, with the new addition of MotoGP Sprints, it means that there is nearly double the amount of racing action than there was last year, which for spectators, is great - but for the riders, it also means that there is more potential to break their bodies. Franco Morbidelli has said that these types of crashes are becoming a bit too frequent, ever since they began the Sprint race idea and format.
Surely it wouldn’t be completely out of the question to suggest perhaps, that they allow for some weekends to have Sprint races, and some others to stick to the original format. Because, this is how Formula One has been doing it, although that has severe flaws within itself too.
One thing is clear though, MotoGP cannot take the 2023 Jerez weekend for granted, because the argument can be made that they got immensely lucky to not be dealing with a rider fatality or even more serious injury than Miguel Oliveira’s small humerus fracture.
That’s all for now then, what did you make of the MotoGP crashes in Jerez? Let us know in the comments down below!
In the meantime, If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the Divebomb YouTube channel!