The crash occurred leading into Turn 4 of the Spielberg circuit on Lap 8 when Italian rider Franco Morbidelli’s bike collided with the rear wheel of Frenchman, Johann Zarco’s Avintia Ducati.
The terrifying crash caused both bikes, travelling at 300km/h, to tumble down the circuit and fly across Turn 4, narrowly missing Rossi and his teammate Maverick Vinales.
Morbidelli was taken away on stretcher but later declared fit, while Zarco walked away fairly unscathed.
The race was immediately red flagged, which saw all riders enter their garages as they waited for the marshals to clean the track for a restart.
Rossi was visibly shaken in the Yamaha garage, having known how perilous the situation could have been.
“It was so scary, it was terrifying,” Rossi said following the incident.
“I was with Maverick when we entered Turn 3 and I felt something coming towards me.
“I thought it was the shadow of the helicopter because sometimes it crosses the racetrack.
“But then Franco’s bike passed me at an incredible speed and also the bike of Zarco jumped over Maverick.
“We were very lucky, but we hope this type of incident is a lesson for riders to improve their behaviour in the future.”
Zarco was faced by much controversy post-race, explaining he did not brake with the intention of catching the bike pursuing him by surprise.
“In Italian we say frenare in faccia – to ‘brake in the face,’” Rossi explained of Zarco’s move.
“He went very wide in braking and he slammed the door in the face of Franco.
“With this bike when you ride 300km/hr, you have the slipstream, so Franco didn’t have any chance to brake.”
Rossi organised a meeting after the race with Zarco and his pupil Morbidelli to ‘clear the air’.
However, Morbidelli posted on Twitter that, “someone needs to pay [for] the mistake”.
“I think that every time both riders crash it is common habit to call it a racing incident and sitation solved,” he wrote.
“But this ‘racing incident’ happened at 310km/h. Great luck we’re in one piece, but someone needs to pay [for] the mistake.”
The FIM MotoGP Stewards will see Zarco and Morbidelli later this week to discuss the incident.
The next MotoGP race will take place this Sunday, August 23, at 10:00 pm AEST, on the same circuit.