Motorcycle riding of any kind comes with certain risks, and those of us who love it are well aware of that fact. Maybe you’re someone who swears that you’ll never ride on the street because it’s too dangerous, and you prefer to stick to off-road or track day pursuits only. There’s a fair argument to be made there, because both of those choices take all the usual road traffic variables out of the equation.
The fact that tracks are usually regarded as being much safer places to test the limits of yourself and your bike is probably why this ambulance near-miss at Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Georgia is so disturbing. On March 19, 2023, a WERA National Challenge road race was underway at Roebling Road when one of the worst possible scenarios happened. Inexplicably, an ambulance pulled out onto the hot track with no warning and reportedly no flags to signal to riders that anything out of the ordinary was happening.
As a result, two racers had to take immediate evasive action to avoid what would have been a catastrophic collision with the ambulance, at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. Novice racer Daniel Alexander captured the video with one of his on-board cameras, which he later posted on his social media pages after he lived to tell the tale.
He reached a speed of around 141 miles per hour on the front straight, in the waning laps of the Open Superstock Expert and Novice WERA National Challenge race, as you can see in the video. Then he spotted the ambulance up ahead, scrubbed off some speed, and managed to utilize the truly miniscule amount of track that was available on the left edge of the course.
Ultimately, while he was able to successfully avoid the ambulance, the evasive maneuver ended in a rollover in the gravel and grass runoff area. Through additional social media posts, Alexander shared that his race suit absolutely did its job in protecting him in that slide. While his poor race-prepped R1 is obviously the worse for wear, he walked away remarkably unharmed.
The other racer in the incident, identified by Roadracing World as Dwayne A. Brown, was slightly behind Alexander when the ambulance pulled out. He chose to go right to get around the sudden obstacle, and although he managed to avoid a direct collision, apparently clipped the ambulance’s rear bumper and removed it. Like Alexander, his bike is pretty banged up, and although he managed to walk away from the crash, Alexander later posted that the other racer is “in a lot of pain.”
A later, extremely short WERA press release said the incident was “due to a miscommunication between the ambulance driver and race officials,” and that “WERA is investigating what led to the incident and will be instituting any necessary changes to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.”
Sources: R1_shake-n-bake on Instagram, Roadracing World