It seems like a forgone conclusion, but wet tracks and high speeds really do not mix well.
In this flashback clip from 2017, we see Jorge Lorenzo take a pretty mean spill during MotoGP practice at Phillip Island. Lorenzo ran into trouble on turn 8, where you can actually see his bike lose traction on the wet track, causing him to slide. It's pretty amazing to see this textbook turn slowly dissolve into a horizontal bike, with Lorenzo tumbling limply to take the brunt of the force.
After hitting the pavement, he slides all the way into the gravel on the opposite side of the track. Impressively, he walked away with just a painful limp. Despite how nasty it looked, Lorenzo was largely undamaged, aside from a sprained ankle. Unfortunately, this injury contributed to Lorenzo's poor performance in the actual race. He was only able to pull out a 16th place finish in qualifying.
Lorenzo had this to say following the crash, according to bikesportnews.com:
"We were not competitive, even less competitive than yesterday. We didn't start very well but today in general was worse. It's not our track. Dovi is in very good shape with the bike, mentally he's strong, he's doing well. He crashed in FP4 so he probably lost a bit of confidence. But he's riding really well."
Given the amount of body control required to accurately control a high-performance bike like this, it's easy to see how the nagging pain of a sprained ankle would easily interfere with race plans. Still, after watching the rider's body flop and roll across the track, a sprained ankle seems like a miracle.
It speaks volumes to the type of safety gear these racers use, as well as the intense training they receive to keep themselves safe, even when things literally go sideways. Despite losing his competitive edge and gaining a super-painful injury, it's clear to see this situation could have been much worse.
This post was originally published on October 23, 2017.