​​Czech president is hospitalised after crashing while racing a motorcycle


Czech President Petr Pavel was rushed to hospital yesterday following a motorcycle crash.

Pavel, 62, was racing his BMW R1200 GS in Prague when he came crashing off the vehicle before being taken to the nearest military hospital.

Police have said they will not investigate the incident, as the crash took place on a private track in Prague.

Officials have stressed that the president’s injuries are not life-threatening, but would require observations before he could be discharged.

‘The president was injured while riding his motorcycle,’ Pavel’s office said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Petr Pavel (pictured) was previously forced to apologies after being seen riding his motorcycle without a helmet

Petr Pavel (pictured) was previously forced to apologies after being seen riding his motorcycle without a helmet

Petr Pavel is known for his love of motorcycles and has continued to rise them since becoming president in 2023

Petr Pavel is known for his love of motorcycles and has continued to rise them since becoming president in 2023

‘The injuries are not serious but will require a short observation in the hospital.’

The former NATO general is known for his love of motorcycle racing and this is not the first time this passion has caused trouble for his government.

Last August, just months after his inauguration as president, Pavel was forced to publicly apologies after being caught riding without a helmet.

Taking to X after the incident, Pavel wrote: ‘I realize my mistake and I apologize for the obvious traffic violation.

‘In this case, I went to the gas station to fill up the tires. It was a 1.5-kilometer-long journey along a rarely used road, and I had to connect to the main road for a few tens of meters. It was stupid.

‘I realize that the president should lead by example in following the rules.’

During the run-up to his election, Pavel was clear he would continue to ride motorcycles while in office despite the risk.

Pavel played a central role in the wake of December's Prague shooting which killed 18 people

Pavel played a central role in the wake of December’s Prague shooting which killed 18 people

Speaking in 2022, he said: ‘Why couldn’t President Pavel possibly ride a motorcycle?

‘I had 24/7 security when I was chairman of the NATO military committee, and half of my team of security guards were bikers.

‘Not that I would choose them based on that. When we went somewhere on motorbikes, we went as a group of friends.’

Alongside his love of racing, Pavel is also known for carrying his own personal firearm, a right he defended prior to his time as president.

‘I have a firearms license that authorizes me to possess a weapon, so I carried it in some situations. Now less, because I go out much more among people,’ he told Radio Impuls.

President Pavel’s crash comes at what is proving to be a dangerous period for Eastern European leaders.

Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, was left in critical condition last week after an assassination attempt that shocked the world.

The populist leader was shot multiple times leaving him on the brink of death.

The populist leader Robert Fico (pictured) was shot multiple times last Wednesday in an assassination attempt

The populist leader Robert Fico (pictured) was shot multiple times last Wednesday in an assassination attempt

Earlier this week, Slovakia’s defence minister Robert Kalinak told reporters outside the hospital where Fico is being treated that he remains in a serious condition.

He said: ‘The worst of what we feared has passed, at least for the moment. But his condition remains serious.

‘His condition is stable with a positive prognosis.’

Speaking on Sunday, Kalinak revealed a ‘third party’ may have been involved in the attempted assassination.

Kalinak added: ‘The situation is turning out to be even worse than we expected.

‘Plus other indications that these facts of Wednesday’s attack have been discussed in a wider circle.’



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