Japanese Teen Shoya Tomizawa Dies in MotoGP Crash
The 19-year-old Tomizawa lost control of his bike and hit his head on the track as his bike flipped over. While on the track, he was hit at full speed by riders Alex De Angelis and Scott Redding.
A statement on the MotoGP website said Tomizawa died of cranial, thoracic and abdominal trauma.
Tomizawa was initially put on an artificial respirator at the Misano World Circuit medical centre before he was taken to a hospital in Riccione, where he died.
"I'm truly devastated about what happened to Shoya," De Angelis said. "I'm close to his family and all of them loved him a lot. ... In moments like this nothing seems to matter.
"I saw Shoya fall in front of me. It is the worst-ever incident in my career. I tried everything I could to avoid him and hit his motorbike instead."
De Angelis was treated at the track and allowed to leave. Redding was taken to a hospital to check on his condition.
The races continued and the riders were only informed of Tomizawa's death afterward.
"I saw the incident on the TV monitor and I could see that it was serious -- but not that serious," said Italian rider Valentino Rossi, who finished third in the featured MotoGP race. "When these things happen, nothing else seems to matter."
MotoGP leader Jorge Lorenzo echoed those sentiments.
"I don't have much to say about today's race, it is such a sad day," he said. "The loss of Shoya is a tragedy because he was a great guy and a great rider.
"I am very sad and want to say how much I am thinking about his family and friends at the moment."
Spain's Dani Pedrosa won the MotoGP race to close the day's racing.
"They've just told me what happened and words can't describe it," Pedrosa said.
Moto2 is the new name for the former 250cc category, one step below the 500cc division of MotoGP. Moto2 also generates tremendous speeds and officials said they decided not to cancel the race due to the fear of other accidents if a red flag was suddenly shown.
Tomizawa's death comes a week after 13-year-old Peter Lenz died during a warmup event at the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis. He crashed and was hit by another rider in a race before the Indianapolis MotoGP last Sunday.
"Nothing has happened for two years and now we have two deaths in two weeks," said Carlo Pernat, manager of Loris Capirossi and Marco Simoncelli. "This time it is a boy of only 19 years of age."
There have been 46 recorded deaths in MotoGP since the series was founded in 1949.
Before 2010, Japan's Daijiro Kato was the last rider to die from an accident. He crashed during the first race of the 2003 season, at Suzuka in Japan, and died following two weeks in a coma.
The first ever death in MotoGP occurred at the Isle of Man Grand Prix in 1949. Reuben (Ben) Thomas died when he drove into a banking.
The next MotoGP race takes place in Spain on Sept. 19.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.