Factory Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi were involved in a crash which has left them in utter disbelief.
On lap 9, Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli collided at 300km/h sending the riders and their machines hurtling towards turn 3. Zarco’s bike smashed through the air fence narrowly missing Maverick Vinales, whilst this was happening Valentino Rossi was trying to avoid the Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli which missed him by mere inches, the riders spent time reflecting on this incident which could have ended very differently.
Vinales attempting to shield himself from the Ducati which nearly hit him
Valentino Rossi was thoughtful when talking about the crash, realising the true potential which this crash could have had, “The crash was very very scary, all 4 riders were very lucky, we have to pray to someone tonight because the situation was very dangerous.
I think that its good to be aggressive but we should not exaggerate because this sport is very dangerous you need to respect other riders when you are racing at 300km/h.” Valentino Rossi speaks about respecting riders, racing is a tough sport but you need to remember the speeds you are going at and the riders around you.”
Rossi went to speak to Zarco about the incident “I speak already with Zarco who promised me it was not on purpose, he went wide on braking and shut the door on Franco. With this bike when you do 300km/h you have the slipstream so Franco had no chance to brake.”
At first, Valentino did not realise what had happened and thought the feeling of something “arriving” was the shadow of the helicopter before he was narrowly missed by the Yamaha of Morbidelli “After I was with maverick entering turn 3, I felt something arrive and thought it was the helicopter shadow but then the bike of Franco passed me at incredible speed and I see the bike of Zarco jump over Maverick [Vinales].”
“We were very lucky but we hope that this type of crash is important to improve the behaviour of riders in the future.” Finished the nine-time world champion and fastest Yamaha at Austria.
Maverick Vinales was one of the luckiest riders today, his head was missed by millimetres from the Ducati GP19 of Zarco as it passed by him, Maverick only saw the Ducati of Zarco coming at him at the last second, “I didn’t see anything honestly, I just heard scratches, then I feel the bang of Zarco’s bike hit the wall [air fence] then I look and I see a bike coming, I cover my head and the bike went over my head.” To say Vinales was lucky today is an understatement, we could’ve been writing very different things about Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales on social media.
About the crash, Vinales said, “Today we were very lucky, it is most important that we are ok, it can happen at all the races and we know the risk, we say many times [to IRTA] turn 3 is very dangerous and it is very easy to crash there, this morning I nearly crash in the warmup, I locked the front and went towards the wall, we are very lucky today someone saved us.”
Vinales is not the first rider to mention the dangerous turn three, even two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner commented on it saying it is dangerous with little safety for riders.
Not a lot of runoff if you crash at an estimated 340+km especially if it's wet…but hey, that's just my opinion. pic.twitter.com/HxwyNbVdpS
— Casey Stoner (@Official_CS27) July 18, 2016
Hopefully after today, something can and will be done about the Austrian track, otherwise, MotoGP may have to look elsewhere to race.
Featured image – www.motogp.com