Valentino Rossi blamed a cold front Bridgestone tyre for his high-speed crash in this morning’s opening practice session for the German MotoGP.
The Italian lost the front as he tipped into the fast downhill Turn 11, which is taken flat-out in fifth gear with a blind entry.
The 32-year-old suffered a nasty puncture wound on his right forearm and he damaged his right shoulder after rolling awkwardly once he hit the gravel trap. Rossi though said there was no serious damage to the shoulder, which has only just regained full strength following serious tendon and ligament damage he suffered in a motocross training accident in April, 2010.
He needed lengthy treatment in the Clinica Mobile but returned to the track for the final stages, only to suffer more misery in the afternoon session when his new GP11.1 appeared to suffer a mechanical failure.
But Rossi later revealed a safety sensor shutdown his engine because of dirt detected from the earlier accident.
The nine-times world champion, preparing to make his 250th Grand Prix appearance on Sunday, finished another frustrating day down in 13th position on the timesheets.
His best time of 1.23.533 made him the second slowest Ducati, with only injured Loris Capirossi’s substitute Sylvain Guintoli slower on a Desmosedici.
Rossi ended 1.308s behind compatriot Marco Simoncelli and explaining his crash, he said: “It was after six or seven laps but with our bike we have some problem to get the right temperature in the front tyre and I lost the front because it was still too cold on the right side.
"If you look at the tyre, on the right side after seven laps it looked brand new. And also because we have better right rubber on the rear, so you can make the change of direction faster, but that also pushes the front.”
Rossi’s crash wasn’t the only bad moment on another nightmare day for single tyre supplier Bridgestone. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa also crashed at the same corner and Rossi said the solution was to have the current allocation increased.
At present riders only get two choices of front and rear tyres per Grand Prix and Rossi said: “First we need more quantity but the bigger problem is we need one more choice on the front and the rear.
"A lot of times you have to start the practice with a hard tyre but the temperature is very low and it becomes very dangerous like here and also in Assen.”
Rossi said the puncture wound in his right arm wasn’t causing him too much discomfort this afternoon, but the awkward impact his shoulder took was his main physical problem.
He added: “I have pain in my shoulder and this is the main problem because I made a strange movement and I suffer a lot. I have pain and I hope it is better tomorrow. This afternoon it wasn’t a problem to ride.
"Unfortunately the leathers broke on the kerb and I slid without protection so I have a hole in the elbow. But it is not a big problem to ride the bike. It is bad to see because you can look inside the hole and you can see the muscle but it is okay.”