The crash according to Biaggi, Edwards and Hayden

Tuesday, 21 September 2004

The crash according to Biaggi, Edwards and Hayden

Max Biaggi, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden were caught up in the first-corner mayhem which forced six riders to retire just a few seconds after the start of the Camel Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday.

Unlike Loris Capirossi, Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins, the three Honda riders walked away unscathed from the accident and were able give to share their views once back in the paddock.

For Max Biaggi, it was his second consecutive race ended by a first-lap crash involving Loris Capirossi, with the pair also having collided a fortnight ago while dicing for second in the first lap of the Gran Premio Marlboro de Portugal.

"I got away quite well, but as I turned into the first bend, I saw a Ducati and another bike crossing the track in the opposite direction to that which it goes," explained the Italian, who has seen his title hopes almost certainly vanish in the space of two races.

"I felt a big smack on the side and I saw Hopkins flying, but I was still upright. I ended up in the sand and then another bike fell right in front of me and that's when I finally went down. It's what I didn't want, I'm so disappointed because I could have done a great race."

Nicky Hayden was equally upset, having made his return from a collarbone injury in Japan. "Definitely disappointing," commented the Amercian youngster. "In the morning I was fourth fastest and I felt good on race day. I was ready to go for it. It had been a tough weekend but Sunday was by far the best I had felt over the three days.

"In the first turn it was carnage. I didn't see what happened. I just picked it up to avoid a bike and ran into the dirt. There was so much dust I couldn't see a thing. I was nearly stopped then ran into a bike and put my bad leg down and just keeled over."

For Colin Edwards it was the second time in consecutive seasons that he would be taken out at the first corner of Motegi, having also been wiped out with John Hopkins, Troy Bayliss and Carlos Checa last year.

"It was a real shame because the bike was perfect and I felt really good here," said Edwards. "I think I could have fought for the podium but what can you do?! I went down completely unexpectedly – just as I did last year with Hopkins."

To have a closer look at the first-corner pile-up at Motegi from various angles, click on the video link at the top of the page.

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