The MotoGP world has paid tribute to Shoya Tomizawa after the Japanese rider was fatally injured in a crash during Sunday’s Misano Moto2 race. He was fighting for his first podium finish since the second round of the championship in Jerez when he crashed out on Lap 12. Tomizawa was then hit by Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding, who both fell heavily in the incident. The 19-year-old died of head, chest and abdominal injuries in a local hospital. Tomizawa had created history back in April when he won the first ever Moto 2 race in Qatar. As news of his death stunned the MotoGP paddock, tributes to the bright young star started to flood in.
“I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad.”
“I don’t have many words for the race on such a sad say. It’s a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and his friends. When this happens nothing else matters.”
Valentino Rossi: “I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad.”
“I am deeply saddened for Tomizawa, his family and everybody who worked with him. It is something truly terrible and it left me breathless, like a week ago. It was a pleasure to watch him ride and I was looking forward to see him have a great career.”
“I am really sad, we have lost two riders in two weekends. My thoughts are with his family and his team but I think the whole paddock has been hit hard by this tragedy. At the end of the day we are all brothers here. We have lost a talented kid with a great personality. I loved his style, his determination and the smile he always wore.”
“My thoughts are with Shoya Tomizawa. I was informed after the race and the news is like a slap in the face. Two tragic accidents in two races is so terrible and it reminds us how dangerous our job is. The safety commission has improved safety levels so much that we often forget this aspect. I’m so sorry for Tomizawa’s family. Having become a father I can understand that this is the worst thing that can happen for a family. Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything: these were two casualties, two accidents with a similar dynamic where the track-side barriers were not touched. This can happen and this is why our job is so risky.”
Dani Pedrosa: “There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing. I arrived at parc fermé very happy with the win and I immediately felt that the atmosphere among my mechanics was really strange, everybody was serious. Still with my helmet on they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me.”
“I am speechless. I was told about it as soon as I got off the bike, and it is very difficult to take something like that in. Today’s result doesn’t really matter anymore. Shoya was a great rider who always gave his all on the bike. He was also a great person who was always smiling and with whom I got on well. I want to send my thoughts to his family and friends.”
Alex de Angelis has spoken of his shock and sadness after he was involved in a sickening Moto 2 crash at Misano yesterday that killed Shoya Tomizawa. The Italian hit Tomizawa after the Japanese rider lost control while holding fourth-place in the 26-lap Moto 2 race. Tomizawa was also struck by British rider Scott Redding at high-speed with the 17-year-old having no chance to avoid the Technomag-CIP rider.
Former Gresini Honda MotoGP rider De Angelis, who was the only rider to emerge from the carnage unscathed, said; “I am deeply sad for what happened to Shoya. I am close to his family and to all who loved him. For the time being I do not want to add anything else. In times like these, everything else becomes less important.”
Meanwhile, British rider Scott Redding escaped serious injury in the horrific Moto2 crash. Tomizawa lost control of his Suter MMX machine on Lap 12 of the race and was struck first by Alex de Angelis and then Marc VDS Racing rider Redding. Both had no chance to take evasive action with Tomizawa losing control at close to 140 mph on one of the fastest sections of the Misano track. Tomizawa later died from serious multiple injuries in a Riccione Hospital. Redding was thrown well over 100 meters down the track after hitting Tomizawa and he needed lengthy treatment in the circuit’s medical center with initial fears that he’d broken his pelvis. Redding needed stitches in a nasty gash to his lower back but the Gloucestershire teenager was devastated upon learning of Tomizawa’s death as a result of severe head, chest and abdominal trauma.
Casey Stoner: “I am deeply saddened for Tomizawa, his family and everybody who worked with him. It is something truly terrible and it left me breathless, like a week ago. It was a pleasure to watch him ride and I was looking forward to see him have a great career.”
Redding’s Marc VDS Racing team boss said: “Scott’s crash was a big one, so we are thankful that the only injury he sustained was a minor laceration on his back. We were deeply saddened by the news that Shoya Tomizawa succumbed to the injuries sustained in a crash during the Moto2 race. He was a respected rival and will be sorely missed in the paddock. Like everyone in the Marc VDS Racing Team, my thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Misano MotoGP winner Dani Pedrosa said his fourth success of 2010 meant nothing following the tragic death of Shoya Tomizawa in the earlier Moto2 race. Pedrosa had cruised to a dominant victory in the 28-lap MotoGP clash when his Repsol Honda crew informed him of Tomizawa’s passing in Parc Ferme.
“There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing,” Pedrosa said. “I arrived at parc fermé very happy with the win and I immediately felt that the atmosphere among my mechanics was really strange, everybody was serious. Still with my helmet on they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me. I asked three times if it was true because I couldn’t believe it. It’s so sad and terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say that he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave. To lose two riders in a week is terrible. I believe everybody in the World Championship is feeling the same now and I want to send my condolences to the family. When you are born, life gives you the chance to choose what you want to do. Tomi chose to be a rider and in fact he was doing great. I just want to think that he’s been happy making his dream come true.”