A motorbike racer escaped with his life in incredible circumstances when he came within inches of being hit by a flying bike while travelling over 300km/h.
BMW rider Ferdi Schmarje was still on the first lap of the Swiss Road Racing Championship race in Hockenheim, Germany, when a crash up ahead at the high-speed Parabolica turn caused a bike to flip on to its end and be sent flying down the centre of the track.
As this astonishing on-board footage shows, Schmarje barely had time to react as several hundred kilograms of steel flew within inches of his bike and down the track.
Schmarje's fellow rider Mathias Rufer (riding the yellow bike visible on the left of the picture) was not quite so lucky: the stray bike just clipped him, giving him a badly broken toe and ruling him out for the rest of the season. Two other bikes further down the field were involved in a crash as they braked heavily to avoid a collision, but all escaped with nothing more than minor injuries.
"I didn't expect a bike crossing the track to the inside. Usually crashed bikes go to the outside of a corner," Rufer explained on tlzone.net.
"Then everything went so damn quick... I had no time to be afraid or anything else, and immediately after the impact there was so much pain that I stopped and waited for the ambulance. I didn't try to get back to the pits. I knew for sure that this would be a red flag and that I couldn't restart."
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