Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi has urged riders who make their way up to the premier class to exercise caution when fighting for track positions to avoid a repeat of the horror collision that halted the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
- Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco collided, with their cartwheeling bikes narrowly missing Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales
- The Moto2 race was also halted due to a sickening crash between Enea Bastianini and Hafizh Syahrin
- Australian Jack Miller finished in third place, behind Andrea Doviziozo
The red flag came out early in the race when Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha collided with the Avintia Ducati of Johann Zarco, with their cartwheeling bikes nearly taking out Rossi at turn three of the Red Bull Ring.
The two bikes missed the 41-year-old and teammate Maverick Vinales by inches as they slowed down to negotiate the turn and Rossi looked visibly shaken when he returned to the garage before the race’s restart.
“It was so scary, it was terrifying,” Rossi, a seven-times premier class champion, said.
“I think it is good to be aggressive because everybody tries to do the maximum, but for me we don’t have to exaggerate, because we need to remember that this sport is very dangerous.
“You need to respect the other riders that are on track with you. We can’t forget this sport is very dangerous, especially in a track where you have long straights and you’re always going 300kph.”
Rossi said he “will pray tonight” after the incident.
“But then Franco’s bike passed me at an incredible speed and also the bike of Zarco jumped over Maverick. We were very lucky, but we hope this type of incident is a lesson for riders to improve their behaviour in the future.”
Jack Miller takes third
Andrea Dovizioso took the chequered flag, after race leader Alex Rins of Suzuki crashed with 10 laps to go, to keep the team’s perfect record at the Red Bull Ring intact.
Ducati have won every race since the circuit was introduced on the calendar in 2016 and it was the Italian rider’s third victory on the track, having won in 2017 and 2019, while it was Ducati’s 50th premier class win.
However, the manufacturer lost out on a one-two finish when Joan Mir capitalised on Australian Jack Miller’s mistake on the penultimate corner of the final lap.
Miller started well off the line on both occasions but struggled for grip on his soft front tyre towards the end of the race.
KTM’s Brad Binder finished fourth while Rossi, who had started 12th on the grid, moved up the field and put the near-death experience of the crash behind him to finish fifth.
Moto2 race halted for crash
Earlier in the day, the second-tier Moto2 race was also halted after another sickening crash.
The chaos started when Enea Bastianini, the championship leader, dropped his bike coming out of the first corner before scrambling away from the circuit.
That left his machine in the racing line with the entire field battling for position behind him.
Most riders dived out the way of the stricken bike, except for Hafizh Syahrin, who ploughed straight into it, destroying both bikes and leaving the Malaysian rider sprawled on the track, some distance down the straight.
Two other riders, Edgar Pons and Andi Farid Izdihar collided after attempting to avoid the debris scattered across the circuit but escaped serious injury.
Syahrin was taken to the medical centre, but only suffered bruising, according to his team.