Valentino Rossi 'optimistic' despite Barcelona MotoGP write-off

Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi remains optimistic regarding the potential of future races despite suffering his second successive non-score this weekend at the Catalan grand prix in Barcelona.

Rossi struggled for speed last time out in his home grand prix at Mugello, qualifying just 18th before crashing out of the race late on while running outside of the points, but immediately looked stronger in Friday practice at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.

He was seventh fastest overnight heading into Saturday, before qualifying on the second row in fifth having progressed automatically to Q2 after managing fourth quickest in FP3.

Despite making an average start in the race he looked competitive and started to make his way back to the leaders, challenging Danilo Petrucci heading into Turn 10 on the second lap.

He then got caught up in the unfolding drama ahead as Jorge Lorenzo crashed after tucking the front of his RC-213V machine heading into the tight left-hander, taking out both Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales.

Rossi had nowhere to go and collected Lorenzo’s Honda as it slid across in front of the Italian, causing him to go down and retire.  

Despite his disappointment, Rossi takes solace from the fact that he showed solid speed throughout the weekend, and believes he can start well at the next round at Assen in a fortnight.

“Unfortunately in that corner I tried to overtake Petrucci but arrived too fast, but at the same moment the crash happened in front,” explained Rossi.

“I couldn’t avoid Jorge’s bike and I crashed. It’s a great shame because I could have had a good race as we worked well in practice, and we had a really good tyre choice.

“I feel really comfortable in the bike and we had a good pace already this morning but I think even more this afternoon so I remain optimistic, this was a much better weekend compared to Mugello.

“I was competitive and I enjoyed riding a lot more, so we have a good base to start from at Assen.”