Valentino Rossi says it’s a “great shame” to lose a home rostrum in the closing stages of the San Marino Grand Prix, Joan Mir denying him on the final tour.
Rossi spent the bulk of the 27 lap contest running second behind Yamaha satellite rider Franco Morbidelli, but began to fade towards the end as the riders around him started to increase their pace.
The factory Yamaha racer lost second to Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia with several laps remaining, before dropping to fourth with just half-a-lap remaining thanks to a charging Mir’s Suzuki diving past at Turn 10.
Rossi said it was “a great shame” to lose a “special” podium position so late in the race, but reckoned he did as well as possible with the speed he was able to muster.
“It’s a great shame,” said Rossi.
“The podium is always special, even more so in Misano and being able to share the podium with Franco and Pecco, it’s a great shame because I made a small mistake.
“Mir was very strong at that point and he put in really good times in the last part of the race, and he was just able to beat me with 2km to go.
“On the other side it was a good race and a good weekend, especially a good race as I rode well and had a very good pace, I felt good on the bike so even without the podium I enjoyed it.”
Rossi added that Tuesday’s Misano test will be handy in order to try and fix “three or four things” that hindered his quest for a home rostrum.
“It was a good weekend for me and our team because we were always competitive, this is always important.
“I think we can improve, we have three or four things we can make better for next week which makes me happier because we have another opportunity (to bag podium.)”
The seven-time premier class champion also reiterated his pride for race winner Morbidelli and runner-up Bagnaia-both members of his VR46 Rider Academy-as well as his Moto2 squad finishing 1-2 in the preceding intermediate class encounter.
“We are very proud (of Morbidelli and Bagnaia achievements), it is something really special because also my brother Luca (Marini) and Bezzecchi finished first and second in Moto2, which is great because it was also something we didn’t expect.”
Rossi’s strong points for fourth mean he has to closed to within 18 points of the overall championship lead heading into the second Misano event this weekend-albeit still sixth in the standings-the top nine now covered by a slender 23 points.