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Aug 27, 2018

MotoGP: Tito Rabat Takes First Steps A Day After Suffering Triple Leg Fracture At Silverstone!

Tito Rabat (53) chases Marc Marquez (93) during practice at Silverstone, before the rain came... Photo by DPPI Media.

Copyright 2018, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

By Neil Morrison

Tito Rabat’s participation in the remainder of the 2018 season may be in doubt, but the Spaniard has already shown remarkable grit in taking his first steps on a right leg that suffered serious fractures on Saturday afternoon.

The 2014 Moto2 World Champion was one of three riders who crashed in the closing minutes of FP4 at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix, when a downpour fell suddenly at the end of the Hangar Straight and riders felt their machines aquaplaning at well over 100 mph.

After Alex Rins had jumped off his machine approaching Stowe, the corner that follows the back straight, Rabat slid off, and was attempting to make his way out of the gravel trap when Franco Morbidelli’s errant Honda RC213V hit his right leg.

It was clear from the first moments the injury was very serious, with the Spaniard’s screams picked up by the trackside cameras. There were initial fears the femoral artery in the upper leg was cut. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and Rabat is now recovering from a dislocated right knee, and breaks in his right femur, tibia and fibula.

"The accumulation of water was enormous and several riders, Tito Rabat being one of them, crashed," read an Avintia statement, which added that Rabat was hit "with full force" when he "got up to reach the safety of the trackside barriers." Soon after, the session was red-flagged.

After his condition was stabilized and it was confirmed his artery was not severed, Rabat was airlifted to the University Hospital of Coventry and underwent "emergency surgery" on Saturday night.

A day later, the operation was deemed a real success. In scenes that bordered on the miraculous, Rabat’s father sent photos to TV station Sky Italia showing his son taking his first steps, albeit aided, on Sunday afternoon. The Reale Avintia Ducati squad is now hopeful its lead rider could make a miraculous competitive comeback before November.

Racing at Silverstone was eventually cancelled on Sunday due to concerns over the track’s recently repaved surface, which was unable to drain rainwater away effectively in the face of an afternoon of steady rain.

Riders felt the chances of aquaplaning were too acute to risk a mass start. It was the first occasion in which a premier class race has been cancelled since 1980, when the Austrian GP at the Salzburgring was called off due to snow.