Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi said that the same rear grip issues that have plagued him through the second half of the season prevented him from a strong finish to the year at the season finale at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.
The Italian struggled in qualifying and was left to start the final race of 2019 down at the rear of the fourth row in twelfth place. A good start saw Rossi up inside the top ten at the end of the first lap, however his progress was soon halted.
Rossi ended the race in eighth, only moving up one spot benefitting from Franco Morbidelli’s crash. ‘The Doctor’ cited the same rear tyre issues that have hampered him for large portions of the season as the reason behind his struggles.
“More than with the weather we struggled with the grip,” said the 40-year-old.
“This has happened to us before, earlier this year. I didn’t have enough rear grip and after some laps I had to slow down because my tyre lost a lot of performance.
“In the second half of the season we suffered a lot from this and at the end we were not able to fix it. Today was more or less the same.”
Despite going through the season without claiming a victory, Rossi was excited to turn the page and look ahead to 2020 when pre-season testing starts on Tuesday.
“We have to work from next Tuesday to start the new season well,” he said.
“We have two important tests here in Valencia and in Jerez before the end of the year. We hope we’ll have good weather and we’ll try to improve.
“We’ll have some new stuff from Yamaha, and also in the team we’ll have a new Crew Chief. These tests will also be important for us to understand how to work, and we’ll try to return stronger next year.”