British MotoGP: Valentino Rossi suffers more Silverstone misery
18 June 2012 14:35
Silverstone remains Valentino Rossi’s bogey track after the Italian finished yesterday’s British Grand Prix in a lowly ninth position.
Rossi was off the pace all weekend in dry conditions and more trouble with Ducati’s inherent understeer issue meant he never looked like competing for a top six finish in the 20-lap race.
Rossi was so ineffective on the GP12 that British rider Cal Crutchlow, riding with a broken ankle, needed just six laps to overtake the 33-year-old having come from the back of the grid.
Rossi was the only rider on the grid to start with the hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre but he denied that was a limiting factor.
A cracked exhaust that was sapping his Desmosedici of power on the straights was also not to blame for him finishing a massive 36 seconds behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo.
The nine-times world champion, who was 64 seconds off the winning pace in a rain-lashed 2011 British Grand Prix, told MCN: “This was a very tough weekend for me because apart from the first practice in the wet I am always very slow in the dry conditions.
"For the warm-up we made a change to the set-up and it was better and I could ride the bike in an easy way. But in the race I had a lot of problems. I tried at the beginning to stay with the other guys but I lost the front twice.
"I had a problem on corner entry and a lot of front chatter and after some laps the rear tyre slide very much. So the race was worse than what we expected.
"I also had a broken exhaust pipe after three or four laps and lost some speed and horsepower but it didn't make the difference.
"Silverstone remains a very difficult track for me but we took some points in the championship and the battle is very close. I am not so far from the second group guys. So this is something positive.
"But all weekend Nicky was able to go faster than me, especially in the first laps and he did a good race and wasn't so far from the top guys at the finish. He did a better job than me.”
Had the hard rear tyre choice been a mistake, with every other rider choosing the softer option?
"For me this tyre was the right choice because with the soft on the left it was too soft for me. With the hard tyre I can beat (Hector) Barbera but with the soft maybe no.
"It was not a problem of the tyre choice and anyway the tyres were very, very similar. My problem was the front again. I had lot of problems in the corner entry. I was sliding and could not carry enough speed into the corner and if I tried to use the front I had a lot of vibration and for this reason Nicky was faster and did a better race."
For more reaction from Rossi and an update on his and Ducati’s future, see the June 20 issue of Motor Cycle News.