Indy MotoGP: Valentino Rossi reflects on double crash
Valentino Rossi struggled to recall the last time he crashed twice on the same day as the Italian’s hopes of a second podium in America in a month suffered a big blow.
The Fiat Yamaha rider will start the Indianapolis MotoGP from a lowly seventh on the grid after he crashed in the decisive final minutes of qualifying.
A front-end loss on a huge bump at turn six dumped Rossi on the ground for the second time after he’d also suffered a similar crash during the morning’s second free practice session.
Luckily for the 31-year-old, both were relatively innocuous falls and he didn’t suffer any damage to the recovering right leg he broke during practice for his home race in Mugello back in early June.
Rossi’s qualifying crash came with just six minutes left on the clock and his 1.41.005 leaves him off the second row for the first time this season.
Rossi, who will quit Yamaha to join Ducati in 2011, said: “Two crashes in one day, I don't remember the last time that happened to me, maybe 1996 or maximum 2000 or 2001. But because I am a young rider I need to feel the limit!
"I am very lucky to be fit and not have a problem because it was just a small slide. But it was the worst moment to crash because I was out on the soft tyre and I was very confident to improve my lap time.
"I lost the front in the f*****g bump at turn six and I didn't have any chance to come back because it was the last tyre.”
The nine-times world champion said he expected his final position on the grid to be much worse after he missed the stage of the session when most riders post their best times.
He added: “I am seventh and I expected worse. It will be difficult from seventh place but I have quite good pace for the race. I have started to be more confident with the bike and ride more in a normal way.
"There is still a lot of work to do so apart from this I'm happy. If I didn't crash and I made 40.3 and I would have been on the front row.”
Looking ahead to his chances in tomorrow’s 28-lap race, Rossi said: “For sure it will be difficult to start from the third row but our target is not the victory. Also it is a strange grid because Dani (Pedrosa), me and Casey (Stoner) are on second and third row and Ben (Spies) is in front.”
Rossi claimed his solitary podium finish since his return from injury at the Laguna Seca round in California at the end of July.