Multi-time world champion salvages 18th in Malaysia.
Valentino Rossi is still accepting Sepang’s penultimate round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship as a positive weekend, despite crashing out of the lead with five laps remaining.
The multi-time world champions displayed strong form and looked to be in line for his first victory since Assen in 2017, however it wasn’t to be as a critical mistake saw him slide out in the closing stages while under pressure from Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), who went onto seal victory.
The Italian ace remounted for 18th position and still retains third in the championship standings, although his chances of advancing to second in the rankings have been crushed, losing crucial points to rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).
“It was a great shame because this was my best race of the season,” Rossi explained. “I felt comfortable, I had a good pace, I pushed, and I had the chance to win, but unfortunately with four or five laps to go I fell – I don’t understand what happened. I made a mistake, because I crashed.
“It’s such a pity, but it still remains a good weekend, because we improved the setting of the bike. I think we have to do some more work, but it looks like we were able to use the bike in a better way in the last few races. This is good, but we have to see if we’re also strong in Valencia. It’s a difficult track for us in general, but we have to try.”
The number 46 will return to action at Valencia in Spain on 18 November for the final round of the world championship.