If there is any motorsport code that seems to require even less consideration for one’s well-being that Formula 1, where drivers surround themselves in flimsy cockpits attached to prodigiously powerful motors, it would have to be MotoGP, where the drivers of sickeningly powerful and quick motorcycles do not even have the illusion of protective surroundings or safety harnesses.
That distinction was clearly in evidence during the 2017 HJC Helmets Grand Prix of France, where Valentino Rossi, after working like a man possessed to take the lead over his teammate Maverick (Unbelievable name for motorcycle driver, right? Conjures images of Tom Cruise in Top Gun) Vinales in the final lap at Le Mans, where he self-destructed and went for a skid on his backside.
Inconceivably, he was able to get up and try to get back on his machine, but the machine was the smarter of the two and refused to restart its engine.
There was much at stake for Rossi, who wanted to win on his home pavement, score 25 points and solidify his points lead in the series. Instead, he received nothing for his efforts, which would have been fruitful but for that last half lap.