The title runner-up then carried the gravel all the way back to the paddock, before handing it to team manager Davide Tardozzi.

Some suggested Bagnaia might have got friction burns on the palms of his hands after sliding along the asphalt, which the wet rocks then helped to soothe.

Others suggested it could be some kind of superstition, similar to the way some riders scratch brand new leathers before wearing them for the first time.

Both theories were incorrect.

“For the [size of the] crash we had, the bike was too destroyed,” Bagnaia explained. “The gravel is too big and it’s not smooth like the standard gravel we have to have in the track. It’s something we have to speak about in the Safety Commission for our safety, for the safety of our bikes too.

“There are three tracks in the championship where the gravel is like this: Jerez, Mandalika and here. We were complaining already last year when Martin crashed here. Every crash at this track, when you arrive at the gravel you start to tumble a lot. This means you can get hurt by the gravel. So it’s not so safe. Jack said the same.”

Jack Miller: 'It destroys the bike for nothing'

Team-mate Miller, who also fell during Friday practice, confirmed: “For sure there will be something brought up in the Safety Commission. Fortunately for me, I literally rode the bike into the gravel on my elbow and knee.

“But even walking the track yesterday I pulled up at Turn 8 and pulled a rock out that was about ‘that’ big and the gravel bed as well has got grass growing through it. So that means it hasn’t been turned over or ploughed or fluffed up or anything.

“The whole idea with gravel is that it’s meant to be fluffed up and have air in it so that it absorbs [the impacts] and at this point in time, the type of gravel that they’ve got and basically letting it compact down with the rain and whatever, it’s not doing its job.

“It’s just kind of making uneven ground for us all to roll over. I think you saw a couple of guys today really get [beaten up] going through the gravel and it’s not ideal. And it destroys the bike for nothing.”

Bagnaia added: “The gravel is very solid. Normally when you arrive into the gravel you sink down and it’s difficult to get out. At this track you can get out very easily. This means it’s very compact.

“When you crash in this situation it’s easy to have pain from that. It’s something Franco and Capirossi will work on for the next years and see if they can change something.”

Miller suggested a simple solution.

“It’s not that they have to replace the whole thing, you can just run it through a crusher and fix it like that. We’ll discuss it in the Safety Commission I’m sure.”

Bagnaia and Miller were ninth and tenth on combined times, meaning they hold a provisional place in Qualifying 2 heading into Saturday morning's FP3.