Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is disappointed with having lost out on the chance to close the gap on current MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez due to ‘poor decisions’ towards the end of Sunday’s German Grand Prix at Sachsenring.
Repsol Honda Team rider Marquez won the race after having run off the track in the early part of the face in wet conditions. He then dropped to 14th after deciding to pit for slicks on lap 17 of 30, while Rossi was battling at the front with five other riders.
What changed the complexion of the race completely was that the frontrunners waited too long to change to their ‘dry bikes’ (lap 23) in the improving weather and track conditions and Marquez was able to claim the victory followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso on his Ducati.
On his return to the track after changing his bike, Rossi was never in the race and ended up finishing in eighth position.
In the MotoGP rider standings, Marquez is well ahead of the rest, after nine rounds of racing, with 170 points and is followed by Movistar Yamaha Team duo Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi on 122 and 111 points respectively.
In an interview afterwards, Rossi said it was a great shame that he did not take advantage of conditions to close the gap on Marquez.
“It’s a great shame because I think that we can be competitive in a dry race and also in a normal wet race I can fight for the victory,” Rossi said. “But unfortunately, it stopped raining and became dry. So we lost a good opportunity to make good points.”
Rossi added that after pitting and changing to the slicks the bike felt ‘very, very slow’ and was not the same and ended up losing close on 10 seconds to the podium finishers.
“The biggest problem was that I was very slow in the second part of the race with the intermediate on the drying track,” added Rossi.
“I had no feeling with the bike. I was very, very slow in the first lap, ten seconds, because I didn’t feel the bike. I didn’t feel the tyres.”
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The 37-year-old Italian feels that with nine races to go he can still make inroads on those ahead of him in the standings.
“It’s very difficult,” Rossi said. “In these first nine races, I don’t take the amount of points that I can take, because I did some mistakes. So the distance with Marquez, to the top, is very hard.
“But anyway, we have another half of the championship. Nine races is very long. We need to work well, try to be competitive, make the maximum and after we will see.”
The next MotoGP race after the mid-season break will be the Austrian Grand Prix on August 14.
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