Aragon MotoGP: Valentino Rossi to start from pitlane

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Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Motorland Aragon MotoGP race from the pitlane having opted to go over his engine allocation after a disastrous qualifying session.

Rossi will use a seventh engine tomorrow after qualifying in 13th place, a decision which means he will have to start the race from the pitlane, 10 seconds after the red lights have gone out to start the race.

Rossi has been forced to exceed his allocation of six engines for the entire season because of his decision to run a new aluminium frame this weekend.

The frame required modifications to the engine because if the way it was mounted differently to the carbon fibre chassis Rossi has been using.

The Desmosedici bike Rossi started practice on this morning was already his sixth of the season.

He then crashed in the early stages of qualifying, though he waited for his mechanics to repair that bike instead of going out on his spare GP11.1

Had he done so, that would have meant him using his seventh motor. But having only qualified in a lowly 13th place with a best time of 1.49.960, Rossi has decided to use the extra engine and incur the penalty here rather than at a future race.

The 32-year-old, who was 1.509s behind pole-setter Casey Stoner, said: “We expected more from this afternoon because this morning wasn't so bad. With the race tyre at the start of the practice I wasn't so far from the other guys.

"I don't think I deserve the 13th place because we were also unlucky because I had a crash unfortunately.

"I was one metre more on the inside and unfortunately when I touched the throttle I lose the front. That’s happened a lot of times this year and we have to understand something in the weight distribution to avoid this problem.

"With the softer tyre I was a little bit faster in T1 and maybe I can make a better lap time but I made a mistake unfortunately. Now we have to start from 13th and the seventh position is very close. This was reachable.

"For tomorrow we can use the seventh engine and start from the pits. Unfortunately to have two bikes in aluminium we have to use another engine because the aluminium parts was suitable for the engine of Misano, but the other bike had an older engine and it is not possible.

"I think to understand and for development for next year, it's better to have two bikes the same. It becomes more difficult, and it is a pity because with the race tyre we are not so far behind.

"We waited because we wanted to understand if we could reach a good position on the grid, but starting 13th or from the pits doesn't change a lot for me.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt