Valentino Rossi laments ‘very tough’ home Mugello MotoGP event

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was extremely disappointed following his retirement from the Italian grand prix at Mugello, the veteran at a loss to explain his lack of pace at the first of his home MotoGP events.

The nine-time MotoGP world champion struggled for pure speed all weekend, failing to reach the top ten throughout any of the four practice sessions ahead of qualifying.

He then failed to progress from Q1 when qualifying had got underway, managing just 18th on the grid as Petronas SRT satellite Yamaha pilot Fabio Quartararo took second despite riding last year’s M1.

Things failed to improve for the race, when a failed move of Suzuki’s Joan Mir forced the Italian through the gravel at Turn 4. The detour dropped him to 22nd and last, forcing him to push in an effort to catch the riders ahead.

He pushed too far however and tucked the front of his Yamaha at the very fast Arrabbiata 2 corner, sliding into the gravel and retiring from a race he has won seven times previously in MotoGP.

Rossi explained that a mistake in FP3, which meant he missed out on an automatic Q2 berth, put him on the back foot in what was already a difficult weekend.

“It was a very tough weekend because I was always very slow, and we expect to be more competitive so it was difficult to manage,” said Rossi

“We did mistakes in the practice, I did one in FP3 and then I started towards the back.”

“Then in the race my pace was not fantastic, then I tried to overtake Mir but he tried to resist and unfortunately we touched.

“Luckily we didn’t crash, but afterwards I pushed very hard to recover and then lost the front and I crashed.

“So it was a bad end of a difficult weekend here in Mugello, but that’s how it is and we will try to do better next time.”