Macau Grand Prix 2018: Andrew Dudgeon fractures spine and Raul Torras suffers head injury in motorcycle practice crashes
- Andrew Dudgeon and Raul Torras still ‘under observation’ on Friday
- Riders went down heavily on Thursday, with Torras’ bike bursting into flames
Andrew Dudgeon and Raul Torras are stable but still under observation in hospital after their heavy crashes in Thursday’s Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix practice session.
A spokesperson said as of Friday there are no updates on either rider’s condition, with both men taken to Conde S. Januario General Hospital.
The expected one-hour practice was cut short after around 15 minutes following the two crashes at the Guia Circuit, where Daniel Hegarty died last year in the feature motorcycle race.
British newcomer Dudgeon fractured his spine after coming off his VRS Racing Kawasaki ZX10 just minutes into the session.
Another red flag was raised when Torras’ BMW S1000RR bike burst into flames after crashing heavily into the Amco barrier at Mandarin.
Would not be Macau without some kind of terrifying bike crash... pic.twitter.com/Wo7FsEfM6i
— Axis Of Oversteer (@AxisOfOversteer) November 15, 2018
The 30-year-old Dudgeon from the Isle of Man was able to crawl off the racing line out of the way of oncoming traffic before being given medical treatment for back pain on the track.
He was then transferred to the emergency room, with the organising committee’s chief medical officer Chan Wai-sin ruling Dudgeon not fit to race in Friday’s qualifying.
Dudgeon was expected to undergo surgery on a lumbar spine fracture to his L2 vertebra.
His team boss Robbie Sylvester posted an update on Facebook from the hospital, saying: “Earlier today in first practice Andy ran out of road at turn one, a short ambulance ride and a few X-rays later he’s laying flat in bed with a cheesy grin?
“He’s now in surgery getting some Chinese medicine. Thanks to everyone who’s sending their best wishes – will post updates as and when”.
The practice session resumed 10 minutes later only for Torras to come off his bike. The 42-year-old suffered transient loss of consciousness and pain in his right collarbone.
Torras was then diagnosed with a traumatic head injury (subarachnoid haemorrhage) and a frontal scalp hematoma after being transferred to hospital.
The Guia Circuit is notorious for motorcycle crashes. Tragedy struck in last year’s race when 31-year-old Hegarty of Britain hit a barrier at the notorious Fishermen’s Bend during the sixth of 12 scheduled laps.
Replayed footage showed Hegarty laying motionless on the track, with debris around him. The race was immediately called off and Hegarty died from his injuries en route to hospital.
In 2012, Portuguese rider Luis Carreira died during qualifying after coming off his Suzuki, also at Fisherman’s Bend.
French rider Bruno Bonhuil was killed during the motorbike race warm-up session in 2005. That was the first fatality since 1994, when Japan’s Katsuhiro Tottori died.
Hong Kong’s Tung Sai-wing died in 1993, two years after China’s Chan Wai Chi. Two other Hong Kong riders, Lam Sai-kwan and Shea Lun-tsang, died at the Guia Circuit in 1977 and 1973 respectively.
In 2000, a mainland tourist was killed when a car went off the track.