Japan's Kato still fighting for life

SUZUKA: Japanese rider Daijiro Kato was still fighting for his life late on Sunday night after suffering severe head, neck and chest injuries in a horrific crash at the season-opening Japanese Grand Prix. 

The 26-year-old, who lost control of his Honda as he approached the chicane, was rushed by helicopter to an intensive care unit after medical staff had battled to get his heart beating again as he lay unconscious on the Suzuka track. 

His condition was still being described as “life-threatening” some 12 hours after he slammed into a wall in a high-speed accident that marred a masterful win by Italian MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi. 

“Kato has still not regained consciousness. He is receiving the best possible treatment but there is no new information on his condition at this stage,” Suzuka officials told Reuters. 

Race organisers said that the next 48 hours could prove critical for Kato. 

“Only quick treatment from the Suzuka medical staff saved his life. His heart was beating when he arrived at the hospital but he is in a coma and fighting for his life,” medical director Claudio Macchiagodena said. 

“Scans confirmed Mr. Kato has severe injuries to his head, chest and neck. Doctors continued to try to revive him at the hospital but his condition is extremely serious.” 

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