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MotoGP, Valentino Rossi: I was a dunce

"A rookie mistake, one of the worst of my career. I missed an excellent chance, but it isn't over yet"

Valentino Rossi: I was a dunce

I was a dunce, maybe even something worse … but I think that word will do.” Valentino Rossi has no lack of self-deprecation, as well as the honesty to admit that he made “an avoidable mistake for which I need to apologise to the team.”

Assen seemed destined for the Doctor, both in the sun and the rain. Instead it was a defeat, worsened by the fact that his crash came when he was in the lead.

It’s a real pity. I had a good chance of bringing home some heavy points – he makes no attempt to hide – On the dry I had a good pace, but I was doing well even in the wet.

Instead, after the suspension, “fair, there was a lot of aquaplaning and no visibility at all”, Valentino started well ad moved into the lead, but then he went too far.

I had gotten off to a good start – he says – I had the soft tyre on the rear and it was giving me good grip, but I was too fast and I made a stupid mistake. I could have won. In the second lap I had widened the gap a bit and I wanted to keep pushing for another lap, but instead I made a rookie mistake.

Valentino describes the dynamic of it.

With the soft tyre I was able to be fast from turn 9 and I arrived at the braking point on turn 10 4 or 5 kph too fast”, and that was enough to wind up in the gravel.

It’s one of the worst mistakes of my career, because the one in Austin could be expected after a lot of races – he continues – This one, on the other hand, is a rookie mistake. It’s disappointing to make a mistake when you have a chance of winning, when you’re up front with a gap, because it would have been enough just to be a bit more careful, to go a bit slower.

To make matters worse, he was unable to restart.

The bike switched off. It has a safety system to prevent the engine from being ruined – he explains – Then the race marshals didn’t help me, but I was in a bit of a dangerous spot and they were right. In any case, it wouldn’t have changed much. I would have finished with very few points.

Now the gap behind Marquez is 42 points, 18 behind Lorenzo.

“Two mistakes in 8 races are too many. It’s true that I have only crashed twice, but both times were in a race – he reflects – Plus, the blown engine at Mugello has an impact. Everything is harder now, even if it isn’t over until the last race.

So he can restart from the certainties.

I am fast and this was, in fact, a good chance to make up points on Marc and Jorge. I need to keep going like this, trying to be competitive in every race, maybe going a bit slower – he laughs – I think that I have the potential to ride some other good races and reap some satisfaction, although the championship has been compromised.

Hopefully this will not become the season of missed opportunities.

It is for me. I hope it will be for some others”, he laughs.

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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