Scott Redding has spoken of the moment his rear tyre failed at high-speed during final MotoGP practice in Argentina.
The Pramac Ducati rider was struck by the debris, but kept control and brought the bike to a halt in the gravel trap - at which point he realised how lucky he had been.
“It's a fast corner. Fifth gear. You spin going in and it was like juddering. I've only had that feeling on a pit bike doing some drifts. But then it like collapsed in the rear. At first I thought it was a swinging arm, and I thought 'now it's going to be a disaster',” Redding said.
“But then is snapped back and something hit me in the back, which I guess was the outer layer of the tyre. It broke the exhaust out of the way and smashed the back of the seat off. Then after that I thought it's really going to go. I manged to control it and when I saw the tyre I kind of realised what happened.
“It just looked like the outer layer came off and I believe that's what hit me in the back. It could have been worse. I'm a bit sore but that's racing. I had no choice but to go back out and we improved in the second bike. It doesn't help your confidence and every time I felt a bit of juddering on bumps, I thought 'f**k, not again'.”
Redding featured as high as sixth after returning to the track on his spare bike in FP4 and later qualified 14th.
“Then I had qualifying, where you scare yourself normally! I improved the lap time and was quite happy about that. You can't let this stuff knock you back too much. I was a bit concerned for the [medium] so I put a new hard tyre and set my fastest lap.
“It was in my mind but if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. It's one of those things.”
After qualifying, it was announced that both Michelin rear options have been withdrawn and replaced by a new harder construction for Sunday.
Loris Baz also emerged largely unharmed after being thrown off his Ducati at 180mph following a rear tyre failure in testing at Sepang.
By Peter McLaren