News 3 Jun 2019

Rossi 'always very slow' in luckless Mugello grand prix

Factory Yamaha pilot crashes out of 23-lap encounter in Italy.

Image: Supplied.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi admits he was ‘always very slow’ in a luckless weekend at Mugello, marking round six of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

The multi-world champion seemingly struggled all weekend, qualifying in a lowly 18th before crashing out of the 23-lap encounter on Sunday, which came after an earlier mistake that saw him enter the gravel trap.

Rossi says he anticipated to be competitive in front of a home Italian crowd, making the weekend difficult to manage as he failed to match the pace of leaders.

“It was a very difficult weekend, because I was always very slow,” Rossi admitted. “We expected to be more competitive, so it was difficult to manage. We also made some mistakes in the practice: I made a mistake in FP3 and because of it I started very far towards the back of the grid.

“In the race, my pace wasn’t fantastic. I tried to overtake Mir, but he tried to defend his position, and unfortunately we touched. Luckily, we didn’t crash, but we went onto the gravel.

“After that I tried to push to recover and I lost the front and crashed, so it’s a bad end to a difficult weekend, especially since it’s in Mugello. But that’s the way it is. We will try to do better.”

The race was taken out by Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati), his first-ever victory in the premier MotoGP category.