The Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix had to be red flagged on Sunday morning after a frightening first lap incident brought back haunting memories of a crash two years ago at the same track which claimed the life of MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli.
Spanish rider Axel Pons suffered a massive high-side coming out of the penultimate corner that would have taken the wind out of the 22-year-old’s sails.
However, having fallen off in front of the second half of the field, a number of riders emerged around turn 14 unsighted, with Pons’ bike lying prone in the middle of the track. Some managed to avoid it, with Britain’s Gino Rea one of the lucky ones, but it was a matter of time before the worst happened.
Fadli Immammuddin did not see the stranded bike until it was too late, and he was launched off his own motorcycle after riding straight into Pons’ Kalex, flipping twice in the air before landing heavily onto the track surface.
Ezequiel Iturrioz, Zaqhwan Zaidi and Decha Kraisart were also collected in the accident, but thankfully all five riders were able to escape major injury, and the race was restarted after a brief stoppage.
British rider Scott Redding finished seventh to maintain his lead at the top of the Moto2 standings, leading Spaniard Pol Espargaro by just seven points with three rounds to go.