DeRosier Headed to Injuries

This image first appeared in the August 16, 1909, Indianapolis News. The occasion was coverage of the first motorcycle race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Here we see noted motorcycle racing champion Jake DeRosier preparing for the start of the fifth race of the meet, a 10-mile professional event which was won by another star riderEd Ligenfelder, dubbed "the Champion of the West" by promoters. The two riders met later in the day in an ill-fated match race that resulted in an accident that resulted in serious injuries to DeRosier that effectively put an end to the race meet. Aborted after frightening accidents and withdrawals by competitors who knew the track was not ready for prime time the event was, by any assessment, a fiasco and a terrible start to the Speedway's motor racing history.
DeRosier was among the very best known of the two-wheel racing stars of the time. DeRosier's story (I wrote the Wikipedia entry on him) was both heroic and tragic as his life ended far too soon. While De Rosier recovered from these injuries he would lose his life in February 1913 after several surgeries to address injuries from a 1912 racing accident.
The caption originally published with the photo read: 
"Jake DeRosier, national professional champion motorcycle rider, at start of ten-mile professional championship race on the new motor speedway Saturday in which he almost lost his life."
A very brief article was also associated with the image. It read as follows:
"Experts are of the opinion that a less agile man than DeRosier probably would have been killed by the fall. He was riding faster than a mile a minute when one of his tires gave down and his machine swerved and went from under him. DeRosier has had many falls in his long racing career and knowledge gained in those is said to have enabled him to alight clear of the wrecked machine. Lingenfelder, his only opponent, finished the race in 10:51.60. DeRosier holds the world's record for ten miles at 8:00.40."

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