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What really happened in this accident?


faffi
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Suggest watching it on YouTube here ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omk5sHY2xwI&feature=emb_err_watch_on_yt

To see the accident jump to 17:00 time marker. 17:45 shows it in slow motion. To pull apart what happened I think there are three things we could try to understand: (1) What was each rider's racing line coming into the corner and trajectory at point of impact? (2) Given their individual racing lines where was each rider's actual apex point for turn 1? (3) What was the relative speed and motorcycle attitude (i.e, accelerating vs decelerating / braking, going into more or less lean angle, etc.) for each? 

From what I see Kevin Schwantz is further to the left side of the track coming into the Turn 1 (right hander) and on a wider, faster, more open racing line than Eddie Lawson, who was carrying more initial speed to grab the inside line at the corner's entrance. Given the camera angle it is hard to see exactly where each rider's actual apex point was - they may very well have been charging for the same apex - but it looks to me like Eddie's apex point was a little earlier in the corner then Kevin's.  Schwantz does carry more speed through the corner and is leaned over longer than Eddie, coming across Lawson's front tire with an apparent trajectory to cut off the inside line in the middle & late sections of the corner. After he hits his apex Lawson seems to stand his bike up as Schwantz comes across his front, but I don't think I would characterize it as a pre-accident panic pick up. In fact, when you try to go frame by frame it looks like Lawson's pick up may really be because they had touched (Kevin's rear wheel to Eddie's front), which would cause a reaction like Eddie's from all of us.

I think my conclusion is Kevin came across too tight and clipped Lawson's front end in his effort to close off the inside line. However Lawson's intended trajectory may have been to move further to the left on exit given he was in the process of bringing the bike up, so not exactly helping matters. Not sure how this was ultimately evaluated by MotoGP officials but would guess it was just chalked up as a racing incident.

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Looks like Eddie was going for the inside pass, had to back out when he wasn't going to make it and when he did ran wide and tagged Schwantz's rear.

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If Eddie had to back out, wouldn't he have rolled off the throttle tightening up his line in relation to the corner versus running wide? On the other hand, I guess if he had to get on the front brake as part of backing off that could have caused him to come up and wide. 

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