MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has admitted he was left shaken to the core by a terrifying crash in Austria, which saw two unmanned motorbikes hurled along the track at high speed.
The incident happened following a collision between Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco, after the latter hit the brakes too sharply in front of his fellow racer as the grid of competitors approached a hairpin at the Red Bull Ring.
Both Morbidelli and Zarco were tossed from their bikes and the loose vehicles began to spiral rapidly down the circuit while airborne.
Rossi had no choice but lean into the turn at breakneck speed and narrowly missed one of the cascading motor bikes by the smallest of fractions.
Now, having time to take stock of what happened, Rossi admits he has to ‘offer a prayer’ to whoever was looking down on him.
‘I have to offer a prayer to someone, to whoever decides up there,’ Rossi said during an interview with GPone.
‘I got really scared. Even now I don’t feel well, it was really dangerous.’
Rossi has also voiced his discontent in the direction of Zarco, who has been criticised for his braking which led to the overall crash.
Rossi admits he approached his fellow racer in the aftermath, to discuss the severity of the situation.
‘Johann swore to me he didn’t do it on purpose, and that’s important,’ said Rossi.
‘We had a potentially very dangerous situation today. It was pure luck that no one got hurt but it must be treated seriously.
‘I told him these things face to face and he replied that he didn’t do it on purpose, he couldn’t have even thought of doing such a thing. But braking in the face of another rider at 300 an hour, you can unleash a potential disaster.’
Fans who were watching the Austrian GP unfold at home were left with mouths agape, and quickly took to social media to try and make sense of what they had just witnessed.
One user named @BikerVick wrote: ‘Rossi definitely has someone looking over him. Wow. The look on his face in the garage – just absolute shock & fear – and who can blame him. A terrifying incident that could’ve been catastrophic. Lucky to see everyone walk away from that.’
‘I think he’ll announce his retirement tomorrow after that one,’ added another.