You Don't See This Everyday: MotoGP Rider Briefly Gets on Wrong Bike After Crash

moto3 rider runs away after getting on wrong bike mid race
MotoGP Rider Nearly Steals Bike After CrashMotoGP / Twitter

Unlike in car racing, motorcycle racers are regularly separated from their vehicles during minor crashes. That means getting back into the race after what can be little more than the equivalent of a two-car spin into the runoff area requires finding your motorcycle, getting it back upright with the help of nearby stewards, and firing it back up to re-join the race. In the heat of the moment, that can all become more difficult than it might seem. For one rider, the hard part was finding the bike.

Moto3 rider Ivan Ortola was fighting his way up the grid from a 15th-place start when he clipped another rider's wheel in a corner. That sent Ortola sliding off his bike as Stefano Nepa, his former teammate, reached the corner. Nepa reacted quickly to crash over Ortola's bike rather than hitting the rider, but the specific mechanics of the incident left Nepa on top of Ortola's bike while his own went flying off toward a barrier.


That was when things got ridiculous.

Ortola, who ran alongside Nepa in the same livery last season, saw a bike like the one he used to run come to a halt directly in front of him. Rather than run to his current bike, he sprinted over to it in a panic and tried to fire it back up. Fortunately for both competitors, Nepa reached Ortola before he could back out of the barrier to stop the accidental bike-jacking. Ortola then realized his mistake, sprinting back to his bike in the runoff area and continuing on in the race. Ortola would retire and Nepa went on to finish 18th, out of the points but riding his original bike.