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Unfit to drive?


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#1 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:30

Seeing Valentino Rossi walking with the aid of crutches within weeks of breaking his tibia, I'm pretty sure that had he been an F1 driver he wouldn't have been allowed to race. I recall reading about Prof Syd Watkins getting a recovering driver to jump from a chair to the ground to prove his fitness.

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#2 garyfrogeye

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:38

Seeing Valentino Rossi walking with the aid of crutches within weeks of breaking his tibia, I'm pretty sure that had he been an F1 driver he wouldn't have been allowed to race. I recall reading about Prof Syd Watkins getting a recovering driver to jump from a chair to the ground to prove his fitness.


I think that the difference here is the ability for the driver to be in a fit state to extract himeself from the vehicle. Obviously in the event of a crash, a bike rider will most probably have been pre-extracted, broken leg or not.

#3 Stephen W

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:50

a bike rider will most probably have been pre-extracted


:rotfl:

Obviously Masten Gregory must have been a bike rider!

#4 GD66

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:28

Good one ! In the old days, the standard test of a recovering rider was 20 pushups. But all the fawning Dorna crowd, fearful of any drop in ticket sales caused by the absence of their golden goose, would have done anything to get him back on the track as soon as possible. They'll have to smarten up their act and look outside the box one day, 'cos he won't go on forever... and if he gets blown off next year after his move to Ducati, I'm sure the retirement will be accelerated...

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:22

Whist I will readily concede that bikers more prone to pre extraction are pretty brave with big cojones but in my humble view Ricky Rudd takes a bravery biscuit for driving with his eyes so badly swollen after an accident that he had them taped open (!) in order to compete in the 1984 Daytona 500 where he brought his #15 Bud Moore Wrangler Ford Thunderbird in 7th.

After this incident NASCAR instituted the policy of taking all drivers after they had been involved in wrecks to the infield medical centre for checks to ensure fitness to drive for future events.

#6 Twin Window

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:25

Seeing Valentino Rossi walking with the aid of crutches within weeks of breaking his tibia...

Two years ago Jorge Lorenzo had to have a chair on the podium after finishing second with two broken ankles!

:eek:

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:27

Lower limb damage is more an inconvenience to a racing motor-cyclist - whereas upper limb damage can cause a longer lay-off and can easily end a career. How many times his own body weight does a rider react through his hands, wrists, arms, shoulders under maximum braking?

DCN

#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 12:46

It is amazing how much pain a person can overcome with sufficient will. I recall a Japanese gymnast dismounting from the rings with a triple backward somersault to land on his broken ankle...

#9 Wirra

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 13:12

I thought the Rossi walking stick thing was an absolute joke. At one stage he took half a dozen steps in the garage before turning and collecting his stick from a team member and then appearing out of the garage to his adoring fans and media using the stick – and then only for a few steps before mounting the bike. I’m not questioning his courage (or appearance fee!) I just think it was another case of Rossi showmanship. IIRC he broke his right leg, then why was he using the stick with his left arm!

On a bike he is the greatest rider I’ll ever see and I agree with GD66 that MotoGP will struggle when he goes, but then again I thought that with Schumacher and F1.

I remember Jean-Pierre Jabouille in 81(?) struggling to get in and out of his car.

Edited by Wirra, 28 July 2010 - 13:15.


#10 Hamish Robson

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 13:35

As far as I'm aware the "jumping off the chair" test is still relevant for motorcyclists, it was mentioned in the Chris Walker autobiography and I think one of the Sheene biogs.

What amazes me is the sheer motivation of all these two-wheel boys. Rossi's injury involved one of the shin bones snapping completely and poking out of his leg - to be WANTING to race again 6 weeks later, with all the achievements and resultant reward he already has, is remarkable. He doesn't need to prove anything, but what he has proved is, with healing injury or not, his will and capability on a bike is still right there. 'Tis a mere flesh wound...

#11 kayemod

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 13:41

IIRC he broke his right leg, then why was he using the stick with his left arm!



You've clearly never experienced any serious leg problems, but that's exactly how you use a walking stick in these circumstances. You apply pressure to the stick in your right hand, to lessen the pressure on your left foot. If you tried it the other way around, you wouldn't be able to manage anything better than an ungainly hobble. I wouldn't wish broken legs on anyone, but believe me, it's bad enough being physically challenged, even temporarily, without shouting it out to anyone whose looking in your direction.

#12 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 13:50

I thought the Rossi walking stick thing was an absolute joke. At one stage he took half a dozen steps in the garage before turning and collecting his stick from a team member and then appearing out of the garage to his adoring fans and media using the stick – and then only for a few steps before mounting the bike. I’m not questioning his courage (or appearance fee!) I just think it was another case of Rossi showmanship. IIRC he broke his right leg, then why was he using the stick with his left arm!

On a bike he is the greatest rider I’ll ever see and I agree with GD66 that MotoGP will struggle when he goes, but then again I thought that with Schumacher and F1.

I remember Jean-Pierre Jabouille in 81(?) struggling to get in and out of his car.



I know it doesn't sound right, but the cane or walking stick is used with the opposite side. I have left knee problems, and trust me, it works much better using it with my right hand.

Robert Barg

#13 Stephen W

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 13:59

I thought the Rossi walking stick thing was an absolute joke.


At the Saxonring he was using two sticks/crutches.

As for taking a few steps before getting the stick - I am currently recovering from knee surgery and trust me you often get up and start to walk before realising you need the walking stick after all!

:wave:

#14 kayemod

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 15:15

As for taking a few steps before getting the stick - I am currently recovering from knee surgery and trust me you often get up and start to walk before realising you need the walking stick after all!

:wave:


Been there, done that. It's the act of falling over that drives the message home.


#15 RStock

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 15:22

I can't recall all the details, but I once read a story about Alan Stacy passing a physical by jerking his artificial leg when the physician tapped it to test reflexes. I'm pretty sure Jim Clark was involved somehow, and it might have been some sort of practical joke. Anyone know this story?

#16 T54

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 15:31

When I saw the "unfit to drive" title, I thought the discussion would be about that CITGO lady in IRL. :)
Damn I was wrong.

#17 Rob

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 15:56

Rossi looks positively athletic compared to the descriptions of Nuvolari going bike racing covered in swathes of bandages.

#18 D-Type

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 16:18

I can't recall all the details, but I once read a story about Alan Stacy passing a physical by jerking his artificial leg when the physician tapped it to test reflexes. I'm pretty sure Jim Clark was involved somehow, and it might have been some sort of practical joke. Anyone know this story?

I forget where I read it, but the story went something like this
Alan Stacey would cross his legs with the good leg on top. The doctor would tap his knee with his little hammer and after observing the knee jerk would then say "Other leg please".
At this point one of the other drivers (the name Innes Ireland was mentioned but it could equally well have been Clark or another Lotus driver) would create a distraction, eg trip over the waste bin, fall over, grope the nurse.
Alan would fumble around crossing and uncrossing his legs and end up with the same leg on top.
The doctor wouldn't notice and would tap his knee with his little hammer and and after observing the knee jerk would then say that well known medical term "Hmmmmm" followed by "OK".

#19 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 16:53

I have a friend who has been racing FV every year since 1968 and is now having some medical problems - says "as long as I can fool the dr. for my medical, I will be racing". He is still very competitive and usually beats all the guys who are much younger.

Robert Barg

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#20 Rob G

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 17:21

An F1 driver is required to be able to extricate himself from his car in a certain amount of time (three seconds, perhaps?), but I don't know if they repeat that test when he is injured or if they simply do it at the start of the season to test whether the cockpit is designed properly to allow for quick exits.

#21 Stephen W

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 17:23

An F1 driver is required to be able to extricate himself from his car in a certain amount of time (three seconds, perhaps?), but I don't know if they repeat that test when he is injured or if they simply do it at the start of the season to test whether the cockpit is designed properly to allow for quick exits.


It is certainly a requirement in Speed Events and I do know of a couple of drivers who were stopped from competing for that reason.

:wave:

#22 RStock

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 17:43

I forget where I read it, but the story went something like this
Alan Stacey would cross his legs with the good leg on top. The doctor would tap his knee with his little hammer and after observing the knee jerk would then say "Other leg please".
At this point one of the other drivers (the name Innes Ireland was mentioned but it could equally well have been Clark or another Lotus driver) would create a distraction, eg trip over the waste bin, fall over, grope the nurse.
Alan would fumble around crossing and uncrossing his legs and end up with the same leg on top.
The doctor wouldn't notice and would tap his knee with his little hammer and and after observing the knee jerk would then say that well known medical term "Hmmmmm" followed by "OK".


That sounds like how I remember it. Thanks.

#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 17:53

That sounds like how I remember it. Thanks.

Much as related by Innes in "All Arms and Elbows".

#24 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 19:04

I have a friend who has been racing FV every year since 1968 and is now having some medical problems - says "as long as I can fool the dr. for my medical, I will be racing". He is still very competitive and usually beats all the guys who are much younger.

Robert Barg


I think that the old FV driver had a probem with his medical. He told me that he had to go and have an hr did that and the results were sent to his doctor, but his doctor died before he could sign the medical form!

#25 Willow Rosenberg

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 21:28

I'm sure Johnny Herbert was still using crutches (and a pushbike) when he first drove for Benetton, at least until Briatore turned up.

#26 seccotine

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 22:51

I remember Jean-Pierre Jabouille in 81(?) struggling to get in and out of his car.


Yes, that was in 81.
The accident in late 80 happened a few weeks after South's and Jabouille feared the worst as he was taken to hospital. But he was back the following year only to realise he wasn't fit enough and gave up, and became the team manager at Ligier for the rest of the season.

So you saw him struggling, Wirra? Was that so bad?
Although it was known he wasn't well, Jabouille seems to not have displayed signs of his pain and difficulties. Brave man.



#27 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 23:11

Rossi does only have a flesh wound compared with what Mick Doohan went through and raced with. And continued winning.

Bike racers are a different breed, I have known them to saw off plaster to race. In speedway you can guess the bike competitors, they are the ones limping!!

In a modern F1 could you get out in 3 seconds, I somewhat doubt it particularly for bigger drivers.All the restraints etc they have to loosen would take that long. Barrichello defenitly took far longer at Monaco. While the injurys will generally be less from the safer cars in case of a fire they are not. Though thank god they are seldom these days.



#28 Wirra

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 23:49

Yes, that was in 81.... Jabouille seems to not have displayed signs of his pain and difficulties...

Not so... In Belgium I witnessed him being assisted by more than one team member to both get in and get out of the car, he simply couldn't do it by himself. Perhaps he did it once for a medical assessment but in Belgium it was a dire situation. He failed to qualify for two GPs including Monaco (see practice photo) and gave it away after Spain.

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NB. I was never that worried racing against drivers with physiological issues, it was just a shame there wasn't a test for psychological issues!

Edited by Wirra, 29 July 2010 - 11:47.


#29 seldo

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 00:06

Rossi does only have a flesh wound compared with what Mick Doohan went through and raced with. And continued winning.

Bike racers are a different breed, I have known them to saw off plaster to race. In speedway you can guess the bike competitors, they are the ones limping!!......

I believe that Forrest's Elbow at Bathurst is so-called because one time when Jack Forrest was racing there, as he came into that corner in practise, another rider crashed in front of him. Forrest dropped his bike to avoid the other guy and slid down the hill and through the corner on his elbows, breaking them at the same time.
Undeterred, he had both arms set in the crouched riding position and raced the next day (and I believe, won).
Hence it is now known as Forrest's Elbow. (As told to me by Jack Forrest and included a display of the scars incurred.)

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:44

Wasn't it Nuvolari who raced once in a full body cast?

Peter Hopwood, in his last (and spectacularly great...) race, had to be helped from the Range Rover and into the Austin Healey. All done under the cover of making appear that he and Carol were discussing tactics for the race or something.

In the car, he had to physically lift his left knee to put his foot on the clutch pedal.

#31 RStock

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:51

I remember a NASCAR driver, I think it was Mark Martin, having to be lifted in and out of his car. Daytona, 1998?

#32 dbltop

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 05:12

Interesting that NASCAR came up. I was listening to Mike Skinner on a satellite radio program the other day and a caller asked him if he had any regrets during his career. He answered that he wished he hadn't got back in the race car so soon (1 week later) after a wreck that seriously rang his bell. No professional driver wants to turn his car over to another driver unless there is an obvious injury. Broken limbs or whatever. Skinner went on to say he raced week after week and didn't realize he was hurt until after he healed. There must be many instances of GP drivers driving with concussions or even slight concussions that we will never hear of.

#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:01

Don't forget the MotoGP riders have been injected with god knows what by Dr Costa each weekend to help them survive. And the painkiller laws will be different from country to country, as long as it stays within IOC/WADA anti-doping requirements.

#34 Quixotic

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:49

I remember more than once..... Many more times actually, having pain killing injections after breaking bones when racing Bikes. I have to say that I was never at my best afterwards and always felt crap afterwards.

Once my mechanics hose clamped a block of wood to the right hand side chassis rail on my Honda RS125, so that when I braked, I could brace my knee on it to take the pressure off of my right hand, (broken Schaphoid). It worked, but not well.

I must have been stupid.......... Iwas not even in the top 10 of the title chase for the championships that year.