View Full Version : Not Aprilia, But whats the latest on KATO

Mille Ryan
04-07-2003, 04:49 AM
Just wanted to see if anyone had heard any new news on KATO. The moto GP site has nuthin new. Hope he makes it for his families sake. when they were loading him on the strecher it looke pretty bad.

04-07-2003, 05:09 AM
Posted by Starboy (thanks mate!!), on the rsvr.net forum;

Kato's condition is very serious, He is now in a deep coma. Dr Costa says there is only a 15% chance of survival. There is aproblem between his first and second vertebrae and even if he does survive he will have lost the use of his arms, legs and even breathing and would be on a respirator at all times and paralyzed from the neck down. About the crash not much is known as there is no video. Gibernau was the only witness.....

"I broke something on my bike at the start and stopped to fix it. When I got back in the track I found myself behind Kato. I was right behind him and I was going about 250kph and I saw him start his braking and change gears. In that place all riders follow the same line, right left right. Kato instead went left. I don't know why and even the telemetry doesn't say anything. I could not believe my eyes. I saw him go suddenly left and crash into a wall at 200kph and I think in 4th gear. I've never seen anything like this.
It's crazy to crash into a wall in 2003 as has happened to Melandri, Barros, Poggiali and Ukawa..Cecchinello was lucky but he got really close to the guardrail at full speed in the straight. We can no longer race at Suzuka and everyone has to understand this. I don't want to race here again, it would be crazy.

Also what we know is that Kato's helmet was broken in two places and he has blood at the base of his brain.
After the crash there was no heartbeat and breathing. He was reanimated and put on a respirator and airlifted to hospital.

Kato's life depends on the next few hours. He's had a Catetere applied to his leg artery to lower his blood temperature and has multiple wounds on his body. Dr Costa says that Kato will undergo a therapy of Barbiturici (no translation) to reduce his brain activity and not stress the brain, and hypothermia.

Lastly about how this happened, but not yet confirmed yet..a photographer noticed that his right front disc had the Carbonium braking strip missing while the brake pump and the left disc appeared to have no damage. So his brake was probaly working on the left side only which might explain why he suddenly went left during braking.

When I saw the footage I personally couldn't understand why he and the bike were on the left side of the track and thought he must have been involved in an incident with another rider like Cecchinello was earlier, otherwise it must be mechanical failure. Rider error, no chance, not Kato...Too good a rider...I only remember this feeling after Senna crashed... The lack of information afterwards. The MotoGP site is telling nothing

The bike is now in the custody of Dorna officials who will investigate the crash.

All I can say is I will miss you and good luck.

Kato had a daughter 11 days ago and would have been 26 today....

I accidently bumped into the The Venjer on Saturday at a bike store where I tried the new Shoei Kato Replica. We both remarked about the Manga blood shot eyes on the rear...(Less than 24 hours later...Tragedy)

All this information has been gathered from the Italian Press..Please pass this on as I know British GP fans are mostly in the dark...

Mr MilleR aka StarboY

Mille Ryan
04-07-2003, 05:57 AM
Thanks for the info Dek.It doesnt look good for him.

Aldo Steptoe
04-07-2003, 06:39 AM
Google News seems to find recent posts. (http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&scoring=d&q=daijiro+kato&btnG=Search+News)

I would rather to have dreamt it though.:(

04-07-2003, 09:17 AM
I had forgotten that Kato was Colin Edwards' teammate in the 2002 8 hours of Suzuka race which they won. He's probably especially torn up about that awful crash. Stuff like this makes me think of getting back into cars with nice airbags.

04-07-2003, 09:25 AM
This is horrible. Katoh seemed like such as soft-spoken person, and he has been a great racer. He absolutely dominated 250cc racing in 2001 and was looking to become a contender on the V-5.

This is yet another reminder of how what we do can be potentially very dangerous. I have been considering for some time to leave the race bodywork on the Mille R and not ride like an idiot on the street anymore. I know this accident happened on the track, but hitting something hard (like a wall, car, guardrail, etc.) is DEFINITELY more likely on the street.

VIR, my local track, is a lot safer (in terms of run-off and off-track obstacles) than any of the roads I ride.

I pray for Katoh, his family and for all of my motorcycling brethren - stay safe! I love this sport, but sometimes it just sucks.

04-07-2003, 10:48 AM
Here's the kicker- I had recorded the race & watched it last night.

When the camera is showing the up track view, and everyone is trying to figure out who had crashed, the "medics":rolleyes: :( :rolleyes: grabbed him by hands & feet, pull him up like a rag doll & put him on the strecher. They are lifting him off the track as the leaders come into view in the back ground.

So, in less than two minutes (by the time the crash ends & the medical aid gets to him), they completely assess the situation & decide to get him off the track. The race should have been red flagged.:mad: :mad: :mad:

1) He appeared to be face down when they lifted him.
2) They had to restart his heart.
3) Any rider should be treated like they have a head - neck injury, ESPECIALLY when the rider is unconscious! Come to find out the dude has a broken neck!!!:| How much of the damage was done putting him onto the streacher w/ NO HEAD SUPPORT??

All of this to keep the racing going. I'm sure that Katoh's family is happy his limp body didn't interfere with the outcome of the race.

Bill in OKC
04-07-2003, 11:18 AM
A Honda rider on a Honda at Honda's track. I wonder if Honda will modify the track to make it safer? I feel so bad for Kato and his family. It is obvious that the track officials do not plan or train for the unthinkable situations.

04-07-2003, 01:18 PM
I'm with you Davenet, I couldn't believe what I saw when they picked him up like that. I started yelling at the tv. My wife asked "what else are they supposed to do?" I said "Don't move him, he could have a head or neck injury, red flag if your worried about him or where he's at." With him needing to be ressetated (can't spell) the race should've been stopped right then and there. No second chances or guessing when it's something that serious. I as a fan want safety and health to be a priority. The race is not even a priority at that point.

Ricky J
04-07-2003, 01:35 PM
I wonder if this was caused by something simple like a broken clip-on?

Smoke Eater 41
04-07-2003, 02:03 PM
I need to comment here.

I do a lot of rescues and there are times when a person needs to be removed from a scene for their own safety or risk being injured more. The race should have been red flagged. Absolutely! But the corner workers were getting him out of harm's way and sometimes that takes priority. I would say from what I saw they had only one choice given that bikes were coming around again at very high speeds. The Japanese aren't really know for their meat wagon methods. They're pretty advanced. Did you see the F1 race earlier when the wheel was on the track? Imagine if Kato was hit by Rossi. Kato would be dead and Rossi would be down.

There is a rumor that one of his front rotors came off. But that's just a rumor right now. We may never know.

04-07-2003, 03:03 PM

Being a fire fighter with current medical training and a track rider at Loudon gives you the leg up on me. BUT, the crash / fire scenes that you speak of are in relatively or totally uncontrolled conditions. People definitely need to be removed from more harmful situations when the danger warrants.

The difference is this happened on a closed racing course. The course workers have radios to inform others of the problems. The corner workers in the previous (two?) corners are showing the yellow. The riders can't pass under the waving yellow and (speculation on my behalf) when I see corner workers in the track even Rossi has to think "Oil??" for a split second and adjust his speed accordingly.

If they were dragging a bike off the course it is one thing. Katoh was face down, unconscious and had just had a huge get-off. You have the radio, stop the race. NO race should ever take precidence over a riders safety. If this was in a public location I would agree with you. Even with the bikes coming around the corner, the workers should have stood their ground and waved the riders to the inside. The riders have the experience & would have adjusted accordingly.

I just hope that Katoh already had the injurys he has when they lifted him on that strecher w/ no neck support.

Bill in OKC
04-07-2003, 03:32 PM
I can see that there might have been no other choice for the emergency crew but that leaves me wondering: How hard can it be to get a race shut down? There must be some way to communicate to every rider at every part of the track to stop racing - right now! Lights, flags, radio signals to the rider or engines or something. These bikes are so MF fast now.

04-07-2003, 03:40 PM
once at the pontiac supercross when jeff stanton was knocked unconcience they just tossed him onto a stretcher, it was later said that even though yellow flags were being waved, they had to get him out of harms way and the medial personnel out of the way quickly, as there may be someone that can't slow down in time or may not catch the yellow in time and hurt a medical staff personell or further injur the downed rider, i suspect thats why they got kato out of the way as soon as possible, every rider should be aware of the surroundings, but some are so focused on the race and the track in front of them, they might hit a downed rider

04-07-2003, 04:01 PM
You guys are so right i race club and whenever a rider is motionless they red flag the race its the only way to be safe. sure the leaders may have been coming round but they wqould have seen him and slowed. its best the leaders go round him then stop, than dump him on a stretcher i too was shouting at the screen! when i fell of last year i was lucky only concusion and fractures but they stoipped the race immediately. I also work in the medical field and if Kato's vetebrea was fractured that treatment would have definately caused more injuries. Kato may you make a good recovery all our thoughts are with you and your family

04-07-2003, 04:20 PM
I'm not sure, but, don't all corners have red flags in FIM events? I'm just going from memory. Unlike here in most clubs that have them only at start/finish. The only club that I've been to that has them in all corners is Team Promotion riding club.

04-07-2003, 04:37 PM
Yes they do as soon as th ecrash happened the marshalls are in radio contact the race could have been red flagged straight away they leaders were two corners away maybe three im not saying this was the marshalls fault just that more could have been done. even though his injuries were obviiously worse than i have ever encountered i have been that motionless body on the track, i'm so glad i wasn't dealt with in the same way.

8ball 2k
04-07-2003, 04:51 PM
For what it's worth here is a link to the japan times with the status on Kato. It could be a better source of info than the moto gp site, since it is local. (Let's hope)

This tragic accident has spoiled the gp race for myself, and I can't help but feel depressed that a fellow brother has fallen, and in such serious condition.

I believe today is his 27th B-day as well. Happy B-day Kato-san!

Get well Kato-san!! I know my hopes and prayers are with you, as well as many others.

Link to the Japan Times with a not so good picture =(
www.japantimes.com/cgi-bi...0408a1.htm (http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sp20030408a1.htm)

04-07-2003, 06:36 PM
I think one of the reasons that they moved Kato like that is because his heart was stopped, and he was not breathing. It was only after they put him into the ambulance that they were able to start his heart and bag (or tube?) him. The first workers on the scene probably just wanted to get his lifeless body off the track and out of the public eye ASAP.

Thunder fighter
04-07-2003, 06:36 PM
Ok, my 2 cents worth. I also think that rider safety should come before the race BUT if anyone saw the F1 crash on the same day that ended the race, you would realize that waving flags is sometimes not enough to help riders/drivers avoid things on the track. For those that didn't see it, Webber crashed on the fast entry to the straight and left wheels and debris all over the track. The first 2 cars to pass the point had slowed and were able to avoid the larger pieces but the next car came up at full race speed about 20 seconds later and hit a wheel and tyre left on the track, resulting in a very big accident.

Things happen pretty fast out there and it is possible to miss a flag (even a red one), putting more people in danger if they are in the middle of the track.


04-07-2003, 07:14 PM
He has a young family and such a bright future - it's a terrible thing. I just want to add my name to the wishes going out to him.

04-07-2003, 07:38 PM
While I have no formal medical traning other than CPR, my parents were EMT's in the local rescue squad. Needless to say I did some reading of their books as a kid & always got an earful on safety. This does not make me an expert nor should it imply such.;)

In order to be sanctioned all of the facilities must have medical services & aid workers. I doubt that the Clinica Mobia (sp?) was taken to Japan for the race. I believe that Suzuka has a full medical facility on site - at least for stabilizing someone prior to airlift.

Furosito, If the rider is in that position, the crowd should make NO difference in doing the right thing. If his heart was stopped on the track, bring the ambulance & the crash cart to him, not him to the cart. An ambulance can block a lot of the view of curiosity seekers.

Dennis, the F1 view is well taken. In the heat of battle it is easy to get tunnel vision. One big difference is that the corner workers are limited (somewhat) by the armco & concrete to be able to "get into better view" while flagging. I don't think I would have wanted to get a better position in that situation given the weather.

That isn't the case with MotoGP. The workers have to be able to have access to the track to clear a fallen rider, bike or debris. The flagger can approach the track with flag in hand to get the attention of the riders. In all of the red flag races that I've watched, this is what happens & it works. One exception was the Daytona race 2 years ago (?) when the pace car came out on the banking of turn two, everyone was checking up, Yates missed the yellow going up the banking in turn one (understandable when your sideways!) & ran into the rear of Roberts. But, then again, at the time of that incident it was just a waving yellow.

So, again IMHO, Katoh should have been treated on the track. The outcome may very well have been the same, but I think his chances are better being immobileized first.


04-07-2003, 08:17 PM
Let me clearify something from an earlier post. I was wrong in saying that the "medical personel" assessed the situation in only two minutes. I just watched the tape again.

Two workers stick the strecher beside Katoh, grab him by the arms & legs on each side of the body, lift him 6-8" up & put him on the strecher quickly. This is done BEFORE THE LEAD TRIO IS OUT OF TURN ONE!!:mad: :mad: :mad: WTF!! By the time the leaders come back around the track has been swept clean.

I'm sorry for going off, but after watching every race I could get ahold of for years (too many), I just can't believe that this would happen on the world level.

04-07-2003, 08:49 PM
i didn't say it before but i'll say it now, best wishes kato and i hope you recover

i think its easy for everyone to look at it after the fact and say what should of or would have been done differently, maybe they will look at this for future accidents and plan things differently, in the heat of the moment i presume that the medical workers were trying to get him to safety or treat him as fast as possible, everyone here has had a chance to look at a tape or pictures over the day and give opinions, but those medical workers didn't have a day to decide how to go about treating him

i'm not condoning how or what they did, but looking back i'm sure anyone in that situation with the time we have had reading these threads may have done something differently

04-08-2003, 04:57 AM
Yeah, I hope Katoh pulls through. When I saw the debris I thought WTF ! They showed the rider's body, he lay motionless. I thought the worst immediately. I felt sick for part of the day.

I have sponsored a race team in England and 3/4 weeks ago at Brands Hatch a rider in a 250 race came off and was hit by 2 other riders. Needless to say he died. The race meeting was stopped.

One minute you are there happy as Larry and the next - disaster. I really do hope Katoh pulls through and gets to lead a normal life too !!


Smoke Eater 41
04-08-2003, 07:35 AM
I've been in the situation where its your judgement about whether to move a victim or not. Its a really tough call and I hesitate to blame the corner workers. Can you imagine being on the track with those mad bikes tearing around? If the bikes are going to be such rockets then I think there needs to be some more thought given to safety.

The race should have been red flagged. That was the mistake. When I saw them haul him off, I knew that he was in really bad shape.

AMA superbike has pics. Nothing gruesome.
<a href="http://www.amasuperbike.com/image/motogp/suzuka03/race/katocrash/" target="top">Kato crash</a>

04-08-2003, 09:04 AM
Rumor around the campfire has been saying that Checa rubbed Kato's rear wheel. Apparently it was captured on a persons camcorder and was played on Japanese TV.

04-08-2003, 03:56 PM
yuck, those pics show just how mangled his bike is...can't imagine what it did to him....this just sucks SO bad.

04-08-2003, 06:37 PM
Not to sound morbid or anything, but looking at the pic on AMASoup of Kato laying on the track. It appears that his boot is missing. Imagine how hard of an impact that must be to rip his boot off.

04-09-2003, 02:39 AM
Latest from motogp.com

Slight improvement in condition of Daijiro Kato

There has been a slight improvement in the state of Daijiro Kato over the last few hours, according to his close friend and fellow MotoGP rider Makoto Tamada. Kato is in a critical condition after suffering serious injuries to his head, neck and chest, but Tamada this morning told motograndprix.com that his heart rate is stronger after 48 hours in the intensive care unit of the Mie Medical Center in Yokkaaichi. The hospital have not made any official statement and are unlikely to do so unless there is a major change in Kato´s condition.

`I still can´t believe it,´ said Tamada. `I don´t know how to take in what has happened to Daijiro. I can only pray that he recovers and I am at the temple right now. I went straight from the circuit to the hospital after the race. Yesterday his blood pressure, which had been low, recovered. Even though he has survived the most important stage after the accident, the doctor says he is still in grave danger. It is difficult to predict the future of the situation´.

04-10-2003, 12:51 PM
This from the Roadracing World site:

Copyright 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

By David Swarts

MotoGP racers Alex Barros, Marco Melandri and Daijiro Kato - all injured during the SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan April 4-6 at Suzuka – are showing signs of progress, according to Clinica Mobile’s Dr. Claudio Costa.

Barros suffered a “minor impact fracture and sprained anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments” of his left knee, according to Dr. Costa, after doctors with the Clinica Mobile in Italy reviewed an MRI scan of Barros’ knee sent from his home in Brazil. Dr. Costa reports that no ligament tearing was found and that Barros is doing physical therapy in Brazil rather than testing his Gauloises Yamaha YZR-M1 at Suzuka with other Yamaha riders. Barros expects to be ready for the South African Grand Prix April 25-27.

Melandri had multiple fractures in his right leg examined by Clinica Mobile doctors in Italy recently, who placed the leg in a cast which allows Melandri to walk. However, Dr. Costa reports that Melandri will have the cast removed soon to begin physical therapy on his injured right leg.

Melandri highsided his Fortuna Yamaha YZR-M1 during practice on Friday, April 4 at Suzuka, hit a wall and suffered several serious fractures of his upper and lower right leg as well as a broken nose, according to reports from Japan. Dr. Costa reports that Melandri wants to back on his Yamaha for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez May 9-11.

Dr. Costa’s update on Kato’s condition details how severely injured the 26-year-old Japanese rider is but also indicates progress. In an April 8 report on his website, www.ducati.com/clinica_mo...ews.jhtml, (http://www.ducati.com/clinica_mobile/news.jhtml,) Costa reported that Kato had “serious brain injuries with extensive haemorrhaging that worsens towards the base and the brain stem. Dislocation of the 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae with fracturing of the 3rd and, consequently, devastating damage to the spinal chord. Numerous shoulder and upper limb fractures.”

Dr. Costa’s April 8 report also includes a very moving, first-person recount of the efforts by Costa and other medical workers who attended to Kato at Suzuka.

In an April 10 update, Dr. Costa writes that Kato “is surprising the doctors with some improvements.” Although Kato is still dependent on a respirator to breathe, his heartbeat and blood pressure remain stable and his brain is “reacting and sending life signals to the monitors,” according to Dr. Costa.

Ricky J
04-11-2003, 08:59 AM
The mention of "devastating" spinal cord injuries in his neck is chilling...let's all pray that someday a procedure to repair damaged nerves will be discovered. I would love to see Kato on his feet eventually and Wayne Rainey sell his wheelchair.
I think also of the very pretty girl who carries a paralyzed arm in a sling months after violently crashing her TL1000S in a tunnel.

04-11-2003, 09:01 AM
kato had dominated on 250 without a single crash but after he moved to 500 class he crashed every other race , promoters must look at safety before bucks ,sorry to say this but he be a vegetable if he survive

04-11-2003, 10:24 AM
if you look carefully at the pix on amasuperbike.com the right front rotor looks intact.

04-12-2003, 02:42 AM
It's all about stem cell research.

04-23-2003, 09:09 PM
Kato's death is very sad news ..... he was a brilliant rider wirh enormous potential .... it's terrible to think people still get killed in spectator sports .... I wish his family all the best for the future ....