Rossi: From 11th to victory

Sepang race-winner talks about one of his greatest-ever performances

FOLLOWING WHAT he has described as "one of my best ever races" nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi has spoken about the moment he realised he'd slipped back to 11th place on the opening lap of last weekend's Malaysian GP.

Having qualified an uncharacteristic sixth on the grid at Sepang, Rossi flunked the start of the race, becoming swamped by other riders into turn one.

The Fiat Yamaha rider explained how he only realised he was back in 11th place two turns later:

"When I went into turn three on lap one I was crying, I said f@ck, I saw 10 bikes ahead, I was desperate," admitted Rossi.

The Italian says he feared arch rival Casey Stoner would win the race, having shown strong form at the 5.5km circuit over the last few years. Rossi's concerns were to be short-lived, as Stoner crashed out in front of him on the opening lap:

"But then I saw Stoner crash and I had been scared about Stoner for the race win in Sepang.

"Then I knew that I couldn't lose time in the traffic. The difficult part started when I took the lead and felt my power go down. I lost some adrenaline.

"But I said okay, I haven't come from 11th to be second so I found some energy to win over the final laps."

Following the race, Rossi thanked crew chief Jerry Burgess for making calculated changes to the Italian's M1 Yamaha prior to the 20-lap race.

"After qualifying Jerry and I looked deeply into the data to understand the grip problem and the modification he made worked," Rossi said.