There are two groups of bikers. The ones who went down and the ones who are about to go down.
It sounds mean but you’ll never find a truer statement. Being a motorcycle rider means being exposed to risks, we are all conscious about that. I don’t want to talk about how you should take care of your surrounding. We discussed that in another article (Top 5 Rules to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle). We also discussed how to crash (How to Crash on the Racetrack). But what I’d like to discuss today is what happens after you crash. Or better, what might happen. The moment you’re on the ground and you’re about to get back on your feet.
I crashed a month ago during a race. It wasn’t on a motorcycle though. No, I took part in a go-kart endurance race. It lasted three hours and we were doing a pretty good job. I didn’t make any mistake for all my turns until my fourth and last. I had to bring the go-kart to the finish line and I had 15 minutes to go. It was an easy job but it started to rain, a lot and to make things worse we were all out with slick tires. Constant rain makes the tarmac conditions always changing, so the sweet spot of the grip is difficult to understand. At the end of a straight, I lost traction in the front end the moment I hit the brakes.
If plan A doesn’t work try with a different letter
The corner was getting closer and I was still carrying a lot of speed. I missed the turning point so I went from plan A to plan B. Plan A was taking the corner, plan B was just trying to slow down that go-kart. But I couldn’t and neither could I steer into the corner so I released the brakes and accelerated to start a drift and put the kart sideways to shed some speed. It was like accelerate on smooth ice. I turned 180 degrees and I couldn’t see where I was going.
That was half of the problem, the other half was the speed I was still carrying. I held on tight to the steering wheel and prepared myself for the impact. I felt a hit from the curb that shook my jaw. For a moment I missed the contact with the ground and I hoped it won’t roll. The landing wasn’t that bad but I hit the tire wall with my back and it slammed my head back and forth. I needed a second to realize where I was and if I was able to continue the race. “I’m fine,” I thought. So I gently accelerated out of the grass and got back on the track. I lost many positions but I managed to overtake some of them. After crossing the finish line, I got back to the pitlane, off the kart, and checked myself. I was covered in mud up until my helmet.
Don’t do as I do, do as I say
I had an invitation from a friend of mine in the team Leopard in Moto3 where I had the chance to meet Joan Mir and Livio Loi. So after the race, I drove to Sachsenring, slept three hours, met my friend, watched the race, and drove back. The day after I was in the emergency room. I was hurt, no internal bleeding but I couldn’t walk. I didn’t give the time my body needed to recover and I didn’t take my injury seriously. The result was a bad contusion which developed shingles and I had to rest 3 weeks.
We have all busy lives and it’s understandable to want to be good in your job or not turning down an invitation from a friend. But life is not just this, life is also you, and you might need a break sometimes but most important, you should take of your injuries.