When the starting lights went out at the 2022 Catalunya Grand Prix, Idemitsu Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami got off to a sensational start. From his 12th-place grid position, Nakagami made up seven places on the run to the first corner. Unfortunately, the five-year MotoGP veteran carried the brakes too deep into the turn, folding his front wheel and sending him head-first into the rear wheel of Francesco Bagnaia’s Factory Ducati.
Nakagami’s helmet visor immediately broke away as the rider ricocheted off the Desmosedici GP 22, but the downed rider and motorcycle caused even more collateral damage. With Suzuki rider Alex Rins directly in the path of Nakagami’s sliding Honda, he was quickly collected in the crash. Bagnaia met the same fate as the following riders, with all three ending up in the turn one gravel trap on the very first lap.
The Ducati rider walked away with no injuries, but Rins and Nakagami weren’t so lucky. Following the Catalan GP, Rins revealed that he suffered a fractured left wrist during the incident. Nakagami initially visited the trackside medical facility, but later transferred to Hospital General de Catalunya for additional observation. Luckily, the Honda rider escaped with no serious injuries or broken bones, but the crash didn’t leave his ego unscathed.
"First of all, I would like to apologize to Alex Rins and Pecco Bagnaia for the accident. It was my fault,” admitted Nakagami. “I wish Rins a speedy recovery and hope he can be in good shape for the German GP."
Despite avoiding serious injuries and broken bones, Nakagami still wears the effects of the crash on his face. Several bruises, a neck brace, and a heavily-plastered chin prove just how fortunate the Honda rider was to escape such a violent crash.
"I consider myself lucky because I have not suffered any serious injuries or fractures. I am okay,” Nakagami revealed. “I spent one night in intensive care for observation, but everything is fine. I'll try to be ready for the next race at the Sachsenring."