Espargaro suffered a massive highside during Practice on Saturday, limping away from the 110mph crash and looking in obvious pain.

He was passed fit for Q2 and sensationally went three tenths faster than Fabio Quartararo, setting a new lap record and causing wild scenes in the Aprilia garage. Although Johann Zarco out-did him to take pole, Espargaro’s effort was the talk of Silverstone.

Guintoli said on BT Sport: “What an absolute hero!

“The violence of the crash, the way he was flipped off the bike, it was massive.

“He could hardly get on his bike. That’s what adrenaline can do.

“These guys, these riders, these humans have an ability to dig deep and forget about pain.

“Stunning by Espargaro. To do that kind of lap you need to take maximum risks.

“Despite being in massive discomfort, it was the performance of his life.

“You need to put it all together to win a world championship and this is why Aleix is a threat this year.”

Guintoli added about Espargaro’s crash: “It doesn’t get much more violent.

“We see a lot of crashes [on that turn] on the front end. 

“A brand new, or on the first few laps, of a hard tyre - you need to take your time to activate it. It is easy to make a mistake like this and be surprised.

“The way it works is - the hard tyre, the more load it needs, and the more time it needs. The easier it is to get surprised by violent crashes. It is harder to feel the limit, the harder the tyre is.

“Especially on that specific turn when you haven’t turned left for a while.

“The tyres need time to be bedded in. These are designed to activate fast. But the harder they are, the harder they can be to activate. You need to respect that.

“The harder the tyre, the harder to get a proper feel for it.

“Obviously even the crash control team could not pick up the slide.

“He could have really hurt himself. We saw him flying high in the air and landing heavily.”