As roadracing fans, we know that the top racers ride that ragged edge between control and total mayhem. Often, when they cross over the line, they can gather the bike back up seemingly by bending the laws of physics. Then on other occasions, everything goes horribly wrong. Tom Sykes’ fiery crash during the final practice of this weekend’s WSBK event in Portimao provides a perfect example. While the crash is brutal and seems to go on forever, Sykes escaped with only a broken and dislocated pinky finger, presumably from when his hand thrusts between the front tire and the fender as he tumbles on top of his ZX-10RR (shown above). While he was chomping at the bit to race after having his finger temporarily repaired, the medical staff declared him unfit to race for the weekend.
If you ever had any doubts as to how tough racers are, this video should put them to rest. Only seconds after sliding to a stop and patting the flames on his arm out, Sykes is already trying to get up off the ground. Most mere mortals would lay on the ground for quite a while after an experience like this.