Rossi on Valencia crash: A s**t emotion

Valentino Rossi admits conditions were “a bit dangerous” when MotoGP race was red flagged, but believes that was the turning point of the race, one which he felt he had the speed to win.
Rossi on Valencia crash: A s**t emotion

Valentino Rossi labelled his second crash out of a competitive position in as many races “a great, great shame,” with the 39-year old stating his inability to fit new rubber for the restarted MotoGP race at Valencia was key to the result.

It had all started so well for the Italian. From a lousy qualifying position of 16th, Rossi made steady progress through the top ten while so many leading names crashed out in ever-worsening conditions.



According to Rossi, the decision to red flag the race after 15 of the 27 laps as pivotal. Before, he was the fastest rider on track, and was within touching distance of the lead.

After, he was forced into using a used rear tyre for the restart, while Dovizioso had a new soft compound to use in the 14-lap sprint. “Strategically, this made the difference,” said Rossi. “I was more in trouble with the rear.”

“So it’s a great, great shame,” he said on Sunday evening. “I’m so sorry. We needed this podium. I needed this podium but also Yamaha, also the team. It’s from Sachsenring that we don’t achieve.

“I did a mistake but also looking at the data and we don’t understand very well what’s happened. It’s true that it was very similar to Malaysia: I lose the rear when I opened the throttle. In the last laps we had to keep more attention for the tyres because I had too much degradation.

“But anyway it remained a good Sunday. I was competitive. So in the last two races of the season I don’t take any results but I was fighting for the victory. This is a great, great feeling. When you fight for the victory it’s something very positive.

“The other positive thing is that I finished third in the championship – the first Yamaha. I think I deserved it because I always fight all the season, also when the situation was very difficult. It was not easy because Maverick started from pole. I started from 16th. So it’s the other positive thing of the day.”

Some riders - Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaro - included, felt the race should have been red flagged long before it was. But rather than breathing a sigh of relief at the sight of the stoppage, Rossi was left frustrated.

“For me was a great shame the red flag,” he said. “At that moment I was very fast. Especially I also have the right front tyre compared to Rins and Dovi. So I can beat them.

“But it’s true that there was a lot of water. It was a bit dangerous. Also in the second race, at one moment it was quite dangerous. But for me they work well. Also for me is very negative that we stop.

“I don’t change nothing [during the stoppage] because I feel good. The problem is that I don’t have any more new tyres. Dovi have a new front and they put the soft, which is the right tyre, but also he have a new soft rear. I don’t understand where he hide that tyre! He didn’t try in the warm-up.

“But anyway, in the warm-up I made the warm-up with a tyre with 20 laps. Strategically this made the difference because in the second half of the race I was more in trouble with the rear.”

Asked for his thoughts on coming so close to breaking his 19-month winless duck for two races in succession, Rossi didn’t mince his words. “It’s a shit emotion,” he stated. “It’s very bad. It’s very bad. Unfortunately I was not able to win this year.

“But in the last two races I was very close in dry and wet. So we have to work because the end of the season for Yamaha is quite positive. We were competitive. Also Maverick won in Phillip Island. But if you want to fight with Honda and Ducati we need help this winter to improve the bike from Yamaha.”