Not for the first time this season, MotoGP title contenders Maverick Vinales and Joan Mir exchanged some hand signals after crossing paths on track during day one of the French Grand Prix.

Friday's incident occurred when Vinales, having run off-track in the damp afternoon conditions, re-joined the circuit just ahead of the Suzuki rider - who made his displeasure clear.

"I was not super angry," Mir insisted afterwards. "I was really surprised to see one bike coming across the straight like this. I didn’t see any movement of Maverick's head, he was just looking at the track.

"The good thing is I closed the throttle. Imagine if I was 50m more in front? We could have had a dangerous moment, but it would have been a lot worse for him because I was the one with the speed.

"It’s important everyone understands this cannot happen. I don’t want to blame Vinales. But it’s something to consider that we cannot do this. This layout is really dangerous because [you rejoin] in the middle of the straight."

Vinales insisted he had not only seen Mir but taken the safest option to rejoin.

"I saw him before re-entering, and then I was on the grass, so I will not lean the bike on the grass because you will crash when it's wet, so I just went straight," said the Monster Yamaha rider.

"I don't know if it was enough room on the track to pass, but I don't think I was too aggressive and for sure not intentional, because I re-entered on the grass, and I didn't want to lean the bike, because there it is very dangerous.

"Imagine if I crashed, the bike would go in the middle of the track when he passes.

"Afterwards I said, 'I see you, don't worry'. I think I gave him enough space, but I don't know, I was not on Joan's bike to see.

"But anyway, I tried to enter the track as safely as I can."

Vinales went on to finish second fastest on Friday, with Mir in ninth.

The pair are currently second (Mir) and third (Vinales) in the world championship standings behind Fabio Quartararo, who was eleventh quickest on Friday.

 

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