Rossi: Sorry Taka, my mistake… maybe we found something

Valentino Rossi's tough Dutch MotoGP weekend ends in a big accident after tangling with Takaaki Nakagami.
Rossi: Sorry Taka, my mistake… maybe we found something

Valentino Rossi and Takaaki Nakagami were fortunate to escape serious injury after a highspeed accident in the early stages of the Dutch MotoGP race.

Seeking to recover from a lowly 14th in qualifying,  the Italian lost the front of his factory Yamaha as he tried to pass the Honda rider into the fast Turn 8, bringing them both down.

Nakagami was slow to get to his feet, but later declared fit for next weekend's German round.

"An unlucky day. I had a good start, tried to follow the top group and then I fought with Cal, Jack and Valentino," Nakagami said.

"[Valentino] overtook at Turn 1, and I overtook him again at Turn 2. Then at Turn 8 he tried to overtake again from the inside. But I saw he lost the front, just inside me, and I had no time to recover and he took [me] out.

"An unlucky crash of course, but on the other hand although I'm not 100% it's lucky to have no injuries, because it was a really nasty crash.

"I almost didn't slow down at all before I hit the [protective barrier]."

Rossi was quick to check on Nakagami in the gravel trap and apologised for causing the lap 5 accident, which occurred while the pair were battling over tenth place.

"The problem was I tried to overtake Nakagami in the entry of Turn 8, but I was a little bit too much out of the line maybe, because I lost the front and unfortunately I also took down Nakagami," confirmed the nine-time world champion.

"So I have to say sorry because it was my mistake. It was also a quite big crash. I'm ok fortunately and I know that also Taka is good, so this is important."

The accident marked Rossi's third DNF in a row and came after a 'slow' weekend where he was rarely seen inside the top ten.

"Three crashes in a row is a big shame, also because Mugello, Barcelona and Assen are three of my favourite tracks," he said.

"So it's a great pity also for the championship, but the important thing is to try to find a solution for being faster because it was a difficult weekend, where I had also some bad luck, but the bigger problem is that, like at Mugello, I was quite slow.

"I don't know if it's the stability [of the bike], but in the fast [sections] the bike is heavy and I don't feel very comfortable.

"We have to find something because usually at this track I'm always good. So we need something different for me."

However, The Doctor thinks they found something better for the race, which he is now keen to try next weekend in Germany.

"Today we modified the bike and for the race I was good, I was already a lot faster than in practice," said Rossi, riding on the two-year anniversary of his last MotoGP win.

"So it's good to have the Sachsenring next week, because it looks like that we find something to be a bit more competitive. We will see in Germany."

In stark contrast to Rossi's troubles, team-mate Maverick Vinales took Yamaha's first victory of the season, with Petronas rookie Fabio Quartararo also on the rostrum in third.

"It's a great result for the team and I'm happy for Yamaha because it's an important victory, and sincerely Maverick deserved this victory because he rode very well from Friday morning," Rossi said.

"This is good for us because it means that anyway we have two Yamahas on the podium, so we have to work to try to be strong like them."

Rossi is fifth and top Yamaha in the world championship, but now only one place and five points clear of Quartararo.

The last time Rossi failed to finish three races in a row was 2011, with Ducati.