The double winner at Catalunya cut a frustrated figure when he rapidly closed in on Vinales who was trying to clean his tyres after running off circuit at turn one.

After going top of the standings, Vinales proceeded to miss his braking for the right-hander, which resulted in him going through the gravel. 

When he came back on circuit Vinales was seen weaving from left to right which caught out Espargaro who was fast approaching. 

Asked if more could have been done from Vinales’ side to avoid the near-collision, Espargaro told "Yes I think, when he went off track he was cleaning the tyres in the middle of the line and it would have been better to stay more on the curbs or to cross the track and go to the outside. 

"But he didn’t do it on purpose. I was coming in hot because it was my first soft rear tyre but it was just a racing incident."

Although Vinales later apologised, the Spaniard didn’t feel as though he could have done anything differently.

"I went wide and I didn’t want to put the bike on the red [curbs] so I just went on the track," stated Vinales. 

"There were yellow flags, I think. I’m sorry for my teammate but in this moment I couldn’t do anything else."

In terms of pace, Espargaro looks like one of the favourites heading into Saturday’s qualifying and sprint, after spending much of Practice two in the top three.

Confident that the Buddh International Circuit will continue to suit the RS-GP23 bike, Espargaro added: "I think it is going to be good. Our bike is good here because there is not a lot of grip. 

"We have to improve in the tight corners like [turn] one, three and the last corner. But overall the bike works quite well."