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MotoGP, Rossi rues wasted opportunity after crashing out of Catalan Grand Prix with lack of grip

"In the warm up the hard rear went well, in the race it was immediately in difficulty: it was sliding and vibrating, I lost six tenths per lap, until I crashed"

MotoGP: Rossi rues wasted opportunity after crashing out of Catalan Grand Prix with lack of grip

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Fifteen points after seven GPs is the total haul for Valentino Rossi in the first third of the championship: his best result is 10th place in the Italian GP at Mugello. Wake us up please, we have got to be dreaming…

There are no two ways about it: either Valentino is the victim of crazy, stellar, absurd bad luck or there is really something wrong. In fact, between crashes and bad performances, Rossi is a shadow of his former self. Not that in 2020 he was a locomotive, but after the same number of Grands Prix at least he had one podium and a total of 58 points that put him in ninth position at -26 from the then provisional championship leader, Andrea Dovizioso.

Now it might be true that the all-Italian hero has turned 42, but if age were the problem it would mean that the years have rained down on him like a sack of concrete. It is simply not possible…

Today, in fact, Vale finished 19th overall and when he crashed, at the start of lap 16 he was 13th, behind Bastianini, Alex Marquez and in front of his brother, Luca Marini, down in the ‘Bronx’ area of the standings.

“We are looking for the reason for what happened - explained Rossi perplexed in the post-race briefing - I felt bad right from the reconnaissance lap. I was without grip. The temperature today in the race was the same as that of FP4. So much so that this morning, in the warm up, I had put on a hard rear to remove my doubts and after 12 laps I was still going strong. Instead in the afternoon it went badly immediately. I was losing six tenths a lap. In the first laps they all passed me, because I came out slowly from the corners. Normally, when you are behind someone, the front tyre suffers, because it overheats, not the rear tyre. Then later I also crashed because as always happens in these cases there were a lot of vibrations”.

Our hero is disappointed because after setting 11th quickest time in qualifying, for a fourth row grid position, he had hoped for better…

“For us it was a great shame - he continued - because with the pace I had I thought I was going to have a good race. It was a missed opportunity. We will try again with a hard and a medium tomorrow during the test to understand the sensations. I didn't get a bad start, on the contrary, I got away quite well, but at turn two Pecco and Binder got up and the two Hondas passed me. Then I started to go really slow and the rear was sliding a lot ”.

As Vale said, Monday's tests in Barcelona will help him to understand, even if the nine-time world champion still doesn't know if Yamaha will have something new to try for him. And then, he added: “I don't think tests will make a difference”.

The rest is just speculation. We try to put the blame on a technical problem, but Vale doesn't seem to have had any. We change the subject, talking about the holeshot.

“I use it at the start and when accelerating out of corners and it works. In braking? No, we have also seen from the data, there is no difference ".

So it’s time to go back to the starting point…

“Yesterday in practice I wasn’t bad, and I was always close even in the warm up. This is important, but I had a big disappointment in the race right from the start. Pity, we had a great opportunity to do a nice Grand Prix. Normally the hard tyre needs a bit more time to get up to temperature, but after three laps it is usually already OK ".

So the mystery remains. As well as that of Quartararo's open leathers, about which Valentino obviously knows nothing…

"It's very strange ...", he just said. And in fact, among all the problems seen over the years, this one is absolutely rare. Who knows how much and if it will cost Quartararo dearly after Suzuki made a report with Race Direction, even if we think that the 'mystery of the open leathers’ is not as mysterious as that of a tyre that went well in the warm up and had no grip in the race…

 

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