Monster Energy factory MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi admitted his pace wasn’t good enough to recover from his poor qualifying position, before the Italian crashed out of the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi.
The Doctor struggled in qualifying and was left to start the race down on the fourth row in tenth position. After a poor start, Rossi dropped down to fourteenth on the opening lap. The Italian was struggling to cut through the field and whilst in eleventh position, the Italian lost the front end of his M1 at turn one, crashing out of the race.
Rossi said that he believes he had the pace to challenge with Crutchlow and Rins had his qualifying position and opening lap been better, but summarised it all as ‘a difficult race’.
“I had quite a bad start, not in the first corner but after that I was in the middle of the chaos and lost time,” said the 40-year-old.
“My pace wasn’t good enough to gain positions fast. I managed to recover a few, but I wasn’t very strong. On some laps my pace wasn’t so bad, but everybody was fast, so that made it very difficult to challenge from behind.”
When asked about his crash on the first corner, Rossi admitted he made a small mistake, but said he hasn’t had a chance to check the data to determine exactly what went wrong.
“I haven’t seen the data yet, but I think I made a small mistake at the end, in turn one, and I crashed. It was a difficult race.”