Mugello MotoGP: Nicky Hayden talks Valentino Rossi crash
Nicky Hayden has talked about the moment he witnessed Valentino Rossi’s 2010 world title hopes vanish in Mugello today.
The American was in pursuit of the 31-year-old’s Fiat Yamaha in this morning’s final free practice when Rossi was viciously high-sided at the entrance to the left-hand part of the Biondetti chicane.
The 2006 world champion said: “I saw it out of the corner my eye and it looked so quick and so early in the corner. I was on a good lap and I was catching him quite quick and I wasn’t sure if had a problem with the bike.
"At first thought he’d come out of the pits and maybe something was leaking. But it was so quick and early at a place you don’t normally lose the rear. It’s not a fast flick but it has taken a while to get the heat in the left side of the tyre a little bit here. I saw dust out of the corner of my eye.”
The 28-year-old said losing Rossi for the majority of the season was a massive blow for MotoGP.
Rossi had won the opening race of the season in Qatar and trailed series leader and Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo by nine-points going into his home race in Mugello.
Kentucky rider Hayden said:
“He’s bigger than just the competition, the whole sport just isn’t the same without Rossi. If you do get on the podium tomorrow you’ll be thinking in the back of your head, ‘well if Rossi was here it might not be like that.’ Nobody wants to see a guy in a lot of pain.
"That’s not cool at all and it was clear he was suffering. He can put on a show sometimes and do stuff but nobody wants to see him go through that kind of pain.”