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Valentino Rossi admits he didn’t even see the hurtling bike of Franco Morbidelli flash in front of his face during a frightening crash in the Austrian MotoGP.
Morbidelli crashed into the rear of Johann Zarco’s bike as the Frenchman moved slightly off-line under braking at Turn 3.
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Morbidelli’s bike was sent skidding across the gravel before hurtling into the air - straight in-between Rossi and Maverick Vinales in front of him.
Rossi, who after the race admitted he could have died if things went slightly differently, has since revealed he didn’t even see Morbidelli’s bike.
Posting extraordinary footage from his on-board camera on social media on Tuesday, Rossi said: “The images from my camera are the ones that scare me the most.”
In a statement on social media, Rossi acknowledged that Zarco did not intentionally cause the incident – but once again insisted riders need to be cautious of the aggression levels on track.
“The images from my camera are the ones that scare me the most, because from here you can understand the speed with which Franco’s bike crossed the track right in front of me,” Rossi said.
“She passed so hard that I didn’t even see her. When I got back to the pits I was already shaken enough to have seen Zarco’s bike literally fly over Maverick’s head.
“Miraculously, nobody got hurt, but I hope this incident makes everyone think, especially us riders.
“Zarco did not intentionally cause such an incident, but it is still a serious error of assessment, which a MotoGP rider cannot afford – especially in a braking [zone] at 310km/h.
“Moving quickly to the right and braking in the face of Franco, he didn’t give him the place to slow down, so Morbidelli couldn’t help but hit him at full speed.
“I understand that in the race we play a lot and everyone gives their best to stay in front, but we must not forget that ours is a dangerous sport and that the safety of our opponents is much more important that gaining a position.”
Morbidelli walked away with only bumps and scrapes, but took to social media on Monday to dismiss talk of the crash being a racing incident.
Morbidelli branded Zarco “half a killer” after the race, and said on Twitter on Monday that “someone needs to pay the mistake”.
However the Frenchman maintains he did not move under braking deliberately.
Avintia Ducati has defended Zarco, saying the telemetry data on the bike shows he did not brake early to cause a collision.
Johann Zarco to undergo wrist surgery
Zarco will now undergo surgery after he was found to have a fractured wrist following the crash.
He will have an operation in Italy on Wednesday.
“This is the doctor that has operated many times on Ducati riders,” Zarco said.
“Then we will come back to Austria, and I will be on Thursday at the track to have a meeting about the big incident that happened on Sunday.”
Race stewards, who have analysed video footage, have yet to take action against any rider but summoned Zarco and Morbidelli to a meeting at the track “in order to better understand the circumstances”.
The governing FIM spoke of its mission to “support riders and contribute to their safety and education, as well as to apply any sanctions required by the FIM Regulations.”
Zarco said if he is declared fit by the medical centre he will be available for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix, which will also be held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.