Monster Energy factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has blamed his two Friday crashes on the cold conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.
Returning to the Europe after the flyaway races for the final race of the season, a track temperature of just 21 degrees left the riders in a tricky situation trying to generate heat into the right-hand side of the left-handed circuit.
Rossi was a victim of the cold conditions, crashing in both the morning and afternoon sessions. Fortunately for the Italian, he walked away from both front-end crashes, but the Italian was less than impressed to be racing this late in the year.
“Fortunately, I’m OK,” said the 40-year-old.
“The first crash was quite ‘light’ but the second one was a bit heavier. Here in Valencia it’s always dangerous on the right side of the tyre, especially in these conditions, because it’s very cold, it’s wintertime.”
Rossi said that he understood the morning crash, citing a mistake pushing too hard too early. However, he did say that the afternoon crash left him scratching his head a little.
“This morning I made a mistake, I pushed too much already on the first lap and I crashed,” he said.
“The crash in the afternoon we understand less, because it was already after seven laps or so, but this is the way it is. But I’m OK. It’s a shame, because before the crashes I was quite strong.”
Missing out on the top ten through the opening two sessions after the two crashes, Rossi said that his overall pace isn’t too bad, but there are still question over what tyre they will use on Sunday.
“My pace wasn’t too bad,” said Rossi.
“We need to work on the bike to decide on the right tyres, but the most important thing is to try to make a good lap tomorrow in FP3 to be in the top ten, and then we’ll see.”