Jerez MotoGP Reaction: Yamaha feared technical failure after Valentino Rossi error

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Yamaha bosses have admitted they feared the worst when Valentino Rossi began suddenly slowing a lap before the end of the Spanish GP.

His Fiat Yamaha team thought Rossi was alerting them to a technical failure with his factory YZR-M1 as he approached them on the start/finish straight with his left hand raised.

But as he got closer and his crew saw he had a clenched fist, they realised he was in actual fact celebrating prematurely thinking he had already secured second place and his 100th podium.

The seven-times world champion wrongly assumed he had finished the race having miscalculated the number of laps remaining. He quickly realised his mistake and was still able to comfortably hang onto second ahead of factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio, speaking to MCN at today's test session in Jerez, said: "We got a big scare because I saw him coming out of the last corner and he raised his hand and I thought he had a problem like he was running out of fuel or something. Then I saw him clench his fist and it was - oh no, he thinks he's finished the race. Normally we wait for him on the pit wall but nobody was there and maybe this put doubt in his mind and he realised something strange was going on."

Asked what advice Rossi's team had given him ahead of the next race in Estoril, Brivio added: "He'll have to look at his pit board next time because the information on that was very clear, but he'd stopped looking at it with five laps to go and counted down manually. I think he will look more at the board next time."

For extensive coverage of Sunday‚s Spanish GP, see Wednesday‚s (April 2) Motor Cycle News.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt