The most dramatic moment of the French MotoGP round undoubtedly came during FP4, when Jack Miller suffered a terrifying crash at Turn 2.
The Marc VDS pilot was following Marc Márquez and Danilo Petrucci through Turn 1 and was preparing to flick his satellite Honda into left for Turn 2 when the front end folded.
What happened next was frightening – the front tyre gripped again and sent Miller straight towards the wall on the inside of the track. Miller’s factory spec RC213V then veered towards the wall, sliding and straightening as it went before glancing the protective barrier. The impact was violent enough to throw the Australian off the bike, sending him cartwheeling through the gravel parallel with the wall.
It was a violent crash, yet Miller walked away virtually unscathed – a testament to today’s airbag technology – and after a medical check a shaken Miller took his place in Q2 on his spare bike despite the discomfort of football-size swelling on his right knee and bruised right hand.
Those injuries contributed to a second but harmless tumble at the final corner when he was set to improve his time in the final moments of qualifying.
Miller said: “I was happy to get back on the bike for qualifying after not feeling 100% after the crash in FP4. It was a nasty crash and I’m lucky to walk away with just some bruises. I had some locking on the front through turn one which sent me towards the wall and when I saw I wasn’t going to stop in time I let go before I hit the wall. In Q2 I went quicker on my first run but my hand was not perfect after the crash and I struggled to stop the bike on the brakes in the final corner and touched the kerb. A shame but I’ll be ready for the race after I get some ice on my hand and knee to get the swelling down.”