The announcement of the official 2011 MotoGP calendar - albeit the provisional one - has been a long time coming. Normally, the provisional calendar is settled at the Brno round of MotoGP, but the series' desire not to clash with Formula One means that the Grand Prix Commission has had to wait for the FIA to release the F1 calendar before finalizing their own. With the F1 calendar now provisionally released, the MotoGP calendar is expected to be released this weekend at the Aragon round.
An early version of the calendar has already surfaced among race travel trip organizers. As their businesses depend upon knowing the following year's schedule as early as possible, MotoGP travel companies are among the very first to know. Our friends over at Pole Position Travel pointed us to a provisional calendar which has appeared on the website of another organization selling MotoGP tickets.
The investigation opened by the Rimini public prosecutor's office into the death of Shoya Tomizawa is drawing to a close, according to reports by the Italian press agency ANSA. The charges of culpable homicide (equivalent to criminally negligent manslaughter) which had been brought against "persons unknown" are likely to be dropped, the reports say. The autopsy on the 19-year-old Japanese rider revealed that Tomizawa had in fact been dead on arrival at the Ospedale Ceccarini di Riccione hospital, having died in the ambulance during the short journey to the circuit. The cause of death was identified as chest trauma, Tomizawa's lungs and heart having been irreparably damaged in the impact.
The Technomag CIP team today released the following statement, from the team and from Shoya Tomizawa's family, on the death of the 19-year-old Japanese rider's death:
The family of Shoya Tomizawa, the Technomag-CIP team and its partners, and the Technomag company wishes to express their homage to an exceptional son, rider and colleague.
Shoya Tomizawa was one of the rays of sunshine in the paddock and within his team. He never missed an opportunity to dedicate a smile or a ‘hello’ to anybody he encountered. He enjoyed having fun with his colleagues but was also a very professional rider who was spirited, and fully concentrated on the development of his bike after every ride. All were impressed by his talent and his refined style of riding. He worked hard to give his maximum not only for himself but for everybody in his team, who had become a second family with whom he spent most of his free time between races.
We have not only lost a talented rider, we have lost a friend and a son who radiated the joy of life and transmitted a good feeling to all those around him. This will always remain in our memories.
After the MotoGP race at Misano, the crash that killed Shoya Tomizawa was naturally on everyone's minds. Reporters asked just about every rider who would speak to them for their thoughts on the crash. Below is what Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had to tell the press on the subject.
Q: You saw how bad the crash was, you already knew it was very serious?
Valentino Rossi: I saw the crash on television. I have to be sincere, I thought it was a bad crash, like with a lot of fractures, but not him dying. I saw the crash live. In the first moment, I did not think like this because I thought de Angelis had just hit the bike of Tomizawa and then Redding arrived. But unfortunately de Angelis also hit him.
About safety, they work a lot, but this is the worst thing that can happen in our sport - you crash, you remain on the line, and other bikes are right behind.
Also, in a fast, fast corner like this, usually if you crash, you go very much on the outside because the speed is high. Unfortunately Tomizawa crashed and didn't crash, he remained on the bike and on the line. The others were too close to try to do something.
But I think that with a crash like this, it's also very good that de Angelis and Redding are okay.
Immediately after the MotoGP post-race press conference at Misano, Race Direction held a press conference to explain their actions, how they had handled the situation and what had been done to try to save Tomizawa's life. Speaking at the press conference were Race Director Paul Butler, Claude Danis of the FIM, MotoGP's Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena of the Clinica Mobile, and Javier Alonso from Dorna. A shortened transcript of the press conference appeared on the Dorna website, along with the full video available for viewing. However, with Dorna's ever-infallible aim when it comes to the internet, the MotoGP.com website managed to shoot itself squarely in the foot by only making the video available to people with a MotoGP.com subscription. Naturally, this has been explained by some of the more radical fringes of the internet as a conspiracy by Dorna to make more money, but having had some experience of Dorna's attitude to the internet, MotoMatters.com is about 99.9% certain that this was down to incompetence rather than conspiracy. It is unlikely that anyone gave any thought to making this a free video, and it ended up automatically behind Dorna's video paywall.
Having been present at the press conference, MotoMatters.com decided to transcribe the entire press conference ourselves, for people without a MotoGP.com subscription. You will find the full transcription below, but one comment needs to be made on the transcription. Dr Macchiagodena is speaking in English, a language he does not speak with great fluency, and using medical jargon. So transcribing what Dr Macchiagodena said has proven to be extremely difficult. We have done our utmost best to transcribe what he said, while trying to make the points he is making as easy to comprehend as possible. This means that some of his answers - especially in the Q&A section - are very difficult to understand. We hope our readers will bear with us, and try to understand what the doctor is trying to say.
The Rimini prosecutor's office (the Italian equivalent of a district attorney, or crown prosecution service) is to investigate the events surrounding the death of Shoya Tomizawa during Sunday's Moto2 race at Misano. The prosecutor is to investigate whether any of the parties involved in the crash can be regarded as culpable for the tragic death of the Japanese rider in any way. Charges of "culpable homicide" (equivalent to criminally negligent manslaughter in Anglo-Saxon law) are being brought against persons unknown during the extent of the investigation.
According to the Italian press agency ANSA, an autopsy is to be performed on Tomizawa to determine whether the fact that a corner worker charged with carrying Tomizawa from trackside to the ambulance slipped in the gravel and fell, dropping the stretcher Tomizawa was on and allowing the Japanese rider to fall on his head, was a contributing factor to Tomizawa's death. The decision to move Tomizawa had been made by one of the medical officials, who had determined that Tomizawa was not breathing and needed to be put on a respirator as soon as possible, which the nearby ambulance contained. The marshalls were charged with moving Tomizawa to the ambulance as quickly as possible.
Motorcycle racing paddocks have never been good at keeping secrets, but this year seems to be particularly bad. As predicted by MotoMatters.com on Thursday, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team have confirmed that Cal Crutchlow will be riding their MotoGP bike next year. Crutchlow and Tech 3 have agreed a two-year deal for 2011 and 2012, giving Crutchlow a chance to get accustomed to MotoGP machinery without the immediate pressure to perform. The switch back to 1000cc for 2012 should also make Crutchlow's job in his second year a little bit easier, the bikes expected to be a little more like the Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike he has raced this season.
Below is the press release from Tech 3:
Cal Crutchlow joins Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team
Summary to follow:
Tragedy has struck the motorcycle racing community for the second time in 8 days. Technomag CIP rider Shoya Tomizawa died in hospital of injuries sustained in a crash during the Moto2 race at Misano.
The crash happened on lap 12 of the 26 lap race. Tomizawa lost the rear while pushing hard through turn 11, falling in front of Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding. Neither rider could avoid the fallen Tomizawa, striking him hard at the fastest part of the track. Both men also fell, De Angelis escaping uninjured, while Redding suffered injuries to his hips. Because he was struck by two bikes, Tomizawa suffered blunt force trauma to the cranium, thorax and abdomen.
Tomizawa was taken straight from the track to the Hospital of Riccione, but the 19-year-old Japanese rider was suffering from severe cardiac instability, and Tomizawa eventually died of heart failure.