Italian motorcyclist Andrea Antonelli died after a crash during a World Supersport race at the Moscow Raceway, World Superbike organisers confirmed today.
In wet and rainy conditions, 25-year-old Antonelli lost control of his Kawasaki bike on the first lap and his head collided with the Honda of countryman Lorenzo Zanetti, who was also unseated.
Antonelli was immediately transported to the course’s medical centre but, given the seriousness of his injuries, it was decided not to risk helicopter transport to the nearest hospital and he died after failing to regain consciousness.
The Supersport race was stopped and postponed for an afternoon restart before being cancelled indefinitely. The second World Superbike event was also cancelled after Marco Melandri had won the morning’s race from Chaz Davies. Antonelli becomes the second Italian to die in competition in two years after MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli was killed during the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.
One of the doctors to work on Antonelli following his accident, Dr Massimo Corbascio, believes there was “absolutely nothing” the emergency clinic’s team could do to revive him.
He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “[Yamaha rider Massimo] Roccoli was hit by Andrea, who had already fallen. Then Zanetti was going 250km per hour and was not able to avoid him.
“He has gone to keep Marco Simoncelli company. We tried to revive Andrea immediately, but there was absolutely nothing we could do.”
Shane Byrne made up for his earlier crash to take victory in the second British Superbike race at his home track of Brands Hatch.
The reigning champion extended his championship lead by 21 points after he was able to fend off the charges of Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison for all of the 18 laps.
The Cumbrian rider came away with no points in race one, but was not going to let the same thing happen again and rode hard to stop Byrne breaking away. On the penultimate lap Ellison tried to make a move at Stirling’s, but Byrne was too strong and shut the door on the Englishman’s advances.
Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes claimed his second podium of the weekend by clinching the final spot on the rostrum in third.