The incident occurred moments after the Fiat Yamaha superstar had left the pit lane - Rossi running off track while looking over his shoulder to check on traffic approaching from behind, then falling in the turn one mud.

The Doctor, who went on to qualify second on the grid in the afternoon, later admitted that he hoped no-one had seen his mistake - which left him plastered in mud - and that he just wanted to hide behind his bike after it happened.