Shortly after their huge Austrian MotoGP accident, Johann Zarco said that he and Franco Morbidelli "hugged each other" in the Medical Centre.

"Then after I was sad because, during the interviews, bad things came out from the comments by Franco and Vale."

The comments in question were aired on Italian TV, where Morbidelli's (translated) words labelled the Frenchman as "a half-assassin… I hope this huge accident makes Zarco think. It was really dangerous for me, him, for Rossi and Vinales who saw a bike coming in their faces at 280km/h."

Morbidelli didn't take part in his full range of Sunday evening media activities due to the accident, but in the Petronas Yamaha press release he said:

"[Zarco] overtook me on the straight and then changed his line under braking to go very wide. With the changed line and the slipstream there was just nowhere for me to go, it was impossible for me to avoid him. Thankfully we are both alright."

Rossi, who narrowly avoided being hit square-on by Morbidelli's flying bike, told Italian TV it had been "the biggest scare of my career" adding, "Race direction must do something against Zarco because he braked on purpose in front of Franco so as not to be overtaken.

"They must do something serious to Zarco, because even in the last race in Brno he knocked out Pol Espargaró, even if he could have avoided the accident."

In response to such words, Zarco delayed his (zoom) media debrief to hold a meeting with Rossi, after which each spoke to the press.

"Franco was already gone but it was good to speak with Vale, so we spent 10 minutes together and we could sincerely say what happened and our thoughts about it," Zarco said.

"Fortunately, nobody is seriously hurt, so I just talked with Vale to make him understand I'm not a crazy guy. I delayed the zoom because we had to fix things."

'I didn't do it on purpose'

The accident occurred on lap 9 of the race, when Zarco used the Ducati's superior straight-line speed to pass Morbidelli on the run from Turn 1. But the pair then tangled as they rounded the fast Turn 2 kink, into the braking zone for Turn 3.

Zarco had been narrowly ahead on a tighter inside line going into the kink, drifting wider on the exit, catching out Morbidelli who clipped the back of his bike at almost 300 km/h.

If that wasn't frightening enough, their machines were launched straight towards the riders making the slow 90-degree corner ahead, Morbidelli's Yamaha miraculously cartwheeling between factory team riders Maverick Vinales and Rossi.

"I overtook Morbidelli in the straight and then in the moment when I had to brake, he touched me and he has been surprised," Zarco said.

"They [Rossi and Morbidelli] were thinking that I went super wide and it was not correct, but I didn't go so wide. I was not much more wide than usual. And I didn't do it on purpose.

"For sure I could expect that maybe Morbidelli would try to overtake, but I didn't cut the line to stop him. It's too crazy to do it and too dangerous and I'm conscious enough to manage it. So when I was braking there were no bad thoughts, but now it's clear between us.

"Now that we could speak together they understand what's happened and it's just because of all the speed, because we were close to each other - I think he got at the moment when I braked - this slipstream. We touched, then had no control and crashed."

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'It was not like a crazy overtake'

Zarco also insisted it hadn't been a risky move to make.

"It was not crazy because my engine was really much stronger than him in that moment and I overtook him when we were still in 5th gear. When we were maybe 300 metres before the braking point. So when I was braking it was more than one-second that I was in front of him. This was not like a crazy overtake.

"Just in the straight I went on the left, because there was no space on the right, so I was well in front. But in the moment I had to brake, maybe because I was not super leaning I had to go a bit on the right. And this, with the slipstream - I think it was very similar to me and Marc in Australia [2018] - but I was in front."

"Then the bad thing was the bike that could really destroy Valentino. Vale just felt something, stood up a little bit and saw the bike. He has been scared also.

"I was feeling bad for this situation. Franco got more hurt than me because he has some pain in the head. Me, luckily I have few burns on the arms the hips and the leg. A little bit of pain in my wrist but nothing broken."

What did Valentino say?

"He just told me that when he saw the crash, just with the few views that we have on the TV, that I went super wide and I did this during the braking just to stop Morbidelli," Zarco said.

"I explained to him that I didn't go so wide and we have to check again, even myself, because I was not crazy wide. And I really did not want to stop Morbidelli, this was not the idea in the moment I was braking.

"So he wanted that this was clear, that I didn't do it on purpose, because in the first idea when he saw it – but then he knows the bikes are so fast at 300 km/h, heavy and at this speed you cannot change your line in the last moment like in Moto3.

"That's why he told me, 'just careful for it', and I said, 'Vale, I'm careful for it and that's why I tried to keep my line'. But in the way I was moving I could not go more on the left and that's maybe what surprised Franco. This was the discussion.

"I think yes [he understood me] because we were just both together. I think this was very, very important because my feeling is we spoke honestly."

No penalties were handed out by the FIM Stewards for the incident on Sunday, but a meeting has been called with both riders for this Thursday.