VIDEO: 'Almost killed me:' Rossi fumes after miracle escape in 300 km/h Austrian MotoGP crash - GulfToday

VIDEO: 'Almost killed me:' Rossi fumes after miracle escape in 300 km/h Austrian MotoGP crash


Bike of Italtrans Racing Team Italian rider Enea Bastianini is hit by another bike at Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria. AFP

Italian motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi said riders needed to “improve their behaviour” and show more respect after he and teammate Maverick Vinales narrowly escaped serious injury in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Rossi, a nine-time world champion, was left shaken after Franco Morbidelli’s cartwheeling Yamaha, travelling at around 300 km/h (187mph), flew across the track just centimetres in front of him.

Morbidelli and the Ducati of Johann Zarco had collided just seconds before the riders slipped through an early turn at Spielberg on lap eight of the race. Both men were unseated.

Zarco’s Ducati also bounced across the track and came desperately close to hitting Rossi as well as Vinales, who was just ahead of him.

“It was very scary. All four riders, but especially me and also Maverick, were very lucky,” Rossi said.

The veteran argued that being aggressive was good, “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.”

Rossi added: “You need to have respect for your rivals, especially at a track where you’re always going at 300km/h.”

Rossi questioned the manoeuvring of Zarco, who, he said, went wide in braking, slamming the door on Morbidelli, a protege of Rossi’s rider academy, VR46, who had no chance to brake.

“We were very lucky, but we hope this type of incident is a lesson for riders to improve their behaviour in the future,” Rossi said, hinting that Zarco would be facing even more scrutiny had there been a casualty.

“I spoke with Franco, he is okay, he is trying not to think, but when he thinks, he too feels scared.

“What makes the difference on this occasion is that nobody got hurt, all riders are okay, so this changes the situation.

“If something bad had happened, it would have been completely different.”

Zarco, dubbed “almost a murderer” by Morbidelli, was quick to claim he was innocent, insisting his manoeuvre was “not done on purpose”.

The MotoGP drama followed a sickening crash in Sunday’s earlier Moto2 race when Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin ploughed head-on into the bike of Italian Enea Bastianini, another VR46 graduate, which was lying in the middle of the track after a fall.


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