Monster Energy Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi apologised to LCR Honda’s Taka Nakagami as the Italian crashed, taking out Nakagami during Sunday’s Dutch MotoGP race at Assen.
The Italian was starting down in fourteenth after having his best lap in free practice scratched off for exceeding track limits, was fighting his way through before his race came to an abrupt end at turn eight.
Whilst crashing. Rossi’s factory YZR-M1 collected the helpless Nakagami, leaving the Japanese rider down on the side of the track, requiring assistance before being taken away by the marshals.
“I was quite fast, so I tried to recover some positions,” explained the Italian.
“I was battling with Nakagami and I tried to overtake him, entering turn eight, but I was a bit too much off the line, I think. When I entered the corner, I lost the front and unfortunately I also took out Nakagami, so that’s a great shame and I have to say ‘sorry’.”
There was more than a hint of disappointment about Rossi. Despite the lowly start, ‘the Doctor’ said that he believes that he and his Yamaha team have taken a step forward this weekend.
“It was a mistake and a pity, because today, after being slow this weekend, we had found something, so during the race I was good,” he said.
“I felt good with the bike. So, on one side this makes it an even bigger shame, but on the other side it’s also important to realise that I was suffering too much this weekend and that we need to be stronger.”