Danilo Petrucci admitted to not 'remembering where I was' when circulating around the Aragon track after falling heavily due to being struck by Pol Espargaro's Yamaha in a freak incident on Saturday morning.
The Italian was exiting pit lane precisely when the younger Espargaro brother lost the front of his Yamaha M1 on the entry to turn two. As his bike hurtled toward the gravel trap, it collected an unsuspecting Petrucci on the way.
While the Pramac Ducati man was not knocked unconscious, he was nonetheless dazed and confused in the gravel trap. A brief break in his pit box failed to clear his head. When back out on track, he had a weak grasp on his whereabouts. “I was quite scared,” he said of the situation.
“It was a very, very long day,” smiled an exhausted Italian, who went on to qualify ninth, 1.1s off pole position, an impressive feat considering what had gone before.
“The problem is I don't remember it all. This morning when I was going out of the pits I was just looking at who was coming from the track. I saw Pol's bike ten centimetres from me and then a big crash.
“At that moment I was conscious but I didn't remember where I was. I said, 'OK, I'm standing, my bones are all together,' so I came back to the pits. But when I went back out I didn't remember where I was. I was quite scared.
“I did six laps this morning and I didn't remember four and a half of them. I am quite sad about his and everyone said it's better for me to have a punch because I can only improve!”
Speaking just after 3pm, Petrucci was scheduled to visit the doctor soon after. Another check up will take place on Sunday morning to assess him further, before the race.
“I have to see the doctor now and then tomorrow morning. At the moment I start to remember something but there are some minutes that I don't. I hope I am well connected tomorrow.”
Commenting on the incident, Pol Espargaro joked someone, somewhere was “doing voodoo to us”, and explained how he fell in spite of taking great care when changing direction between turns one and two in the cold conditions.
“It was like we had one guy doing voodoo to us,” he said. “Actually, I don't know why I crashed the first time. I was really, really slow and paying a lot of attention, because yesterday I crashed in the same place on an out lap.
“I was paying extreme attention to the tyre in the change of direction but even then I lose the front. It looks like when we use a used tyre, the 'V' front, it becomes impossible to ride. When we use it continuously we have no problem. But when we have to re-use it's not possible for us.
“I hope Danilo is OK. We need to speak with him. My day was too stressed to take care of others but I'm really sorry for Danilo. It's a really critical corner. When you have to go out of the pits you have to check who is coming and preview who is going to crash.
“If you are not paying too much attention it can happen. I'm really sorry because the first person I don't want to crash is myself. It was really bad luck in my case but double for him. It was really a bad luck day for me.”