Soft tyre withdrawn following high-speed Baz crash


New MotoGP tyre manufacturer Michelin has been forced to withdraw its soft option after Loris Baz was involved in a high-speed crash on the second day of testing in Sepang.

The Avintia Ducati rider was thrown from his bike at 180mph when his rear tyre appeared to explode, sending Baz careering down the start-finish straight.

Baz escaped with just a bruised elbow and returned to track following the incident.

"The start of the day was good," he said. "We used the soft tyre to try to improve the lap times and, although the lap was not incredible, we were able to improve the lap time from yesterday.

"But then we had a problem with the rear tyre and I crashed out at 290kmh and my bike was destroyed.

"Fortunately I was unhurt, but you always lose energy after this kind of accident, because even if you don't have anything serious, you feel all your muscles like you have been training for 20 hours.

"My mechanics did a great job to put the bike back on track for the last two hours.

"It was not bad, but I felt a little bit tired riding the bike and I didn't want to push and crash again. But I matched the same lap time from yesterday testing some suspension parts that I didn't like too much."

Michelin was at the centre of a Formula One controversy in 2005, when its 14 drivers withdrew from the United States Grand Prix over safety concerns, leaving only six cars to contest the race.

Baz's crash prompted a period under the red flag in Malaysia, with Pramac's Danilo Petrucci posting a time of two minutes and 0.095 seconds before the interruption to top the timesheets with his ninth lap of 46.

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo (+0.060secs) and Baz's team-mate Hector Barbera (+0.292secs) rounded off the top three.