Rookie Alex Marquez was directly behind Maverick Vinales when the Monster Yamaha rider leapt from his bike at 230km/h, when his front brakes 'exploded' into Turn 1 on lap 17 of the Styrian MotoGP.

The Repsol Honda rider had seen some 'small black parts' falling from Vinales' bike just before the incident, which he initially thought were coming from the rider's boot.

But Marquez soon realised it was something far more serious.

"It was not nice to follow Vinales and see him going off the bike," Marquez said.

"I saw he was suffering quite a lot, going straight on [under braking], but I didn't know if it was because of the tyres or the brakes.

"Then I saw him go slower in some parts of the track, which now I understand was probably to try not to overheat the brakes.

"Then suddenly when we arrived in the first corner, I saw like some small black parts going out from his bike. I thought it was pieces of his boot or something.

"But then I saw him jump off the bike, completely straight, so I realised it was no brakes and these were like small parts from the front brake.

"It was not nice to see this in front of me."

Fortunately, Vinales escaped unharmed, although the race was stopped to fix an airfence damaged by his bike.

Styrian MotoGP Preview: The Safety Awareness Edition |

Marquez then finished the 12-lap sprint just outside of the points, in 16th place.

"It was not the best second race again for sure, but I was able to follow some top riders and learn a lot from that," he said. "I was getting better with the bike. Feeling more confident.

"Now we are at the point where we just need to improve a little bit the turning area, so that will be the main target for Misano and for sure I need to keep improving my riding style."

It was confirmed this weekend that Alex's brother, team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez will need another two-to-three months to recover from his broken arm.

"I miss him for sure because he's the best reference that you can have on track and on the data because he is the strongest rider in MotoGP. Anyway, from home he helps me, so his tips are always important," Alex said.

"It's a strange situation because from the first day in the paddock I was with him at my side, but it's like this and it's not an excuse to not have a good performance."