Yamaha YZF-R1 One, Unlucky Pheasant Zero

Maybe some of you still remember Jorge Lorenzo's pole at Phillip Island in October 2013. Back then, Lorenzo hit a seagull that was on the track and which decided to fly away in the wrong direction. The bird was killed in the impact, but remained lodged in Lorenzo's fairing.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 vs pheasant 3 photos
Photo: Facebook
Lorenzo vs seagull2015 Yamaha R1 vs pheasant
You can only try to imagine the surprise the pit box crew had when #99 entered the pit lane with the dead bird stuck to his Yamaha YZR-M1. The photo that was taken then shows the bewilderment on the face of Lorenzo's crewman Juan Llana.

Funny thing, Lorenzo set out again to the track and clinched the pole and also broke the circuit record. Until then, Casey Stoner's 1:28.665 was the time to beat, but Lorenzo set the bar at 1:27.899.

Birds hit at high speed are a major hazard

Hitting a bird head-on minimizes the dangers such an encounter comes with, but many accidents occur because riders collide with animals.

Honestly, this R1 rider was rather lucky because it looks like the pheasant he hit impacted the forks, fitting right between the front fender and the rear lip of the front cowl.

But birds fly, and if one happens to hit the rider or the bike from one side, the outcome may be disastrous. And the weight of a pheasant makes things even worse. We know of riders who almost crashed when a sparrow hit them right in the helmet, or they clipped other small birds with their windscreen.

Watch Lorenzo clipping the seagull at Phillip Island in 2013 in the video after the jump.

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