US MotoGP: Valentino Rossi takes blame for practice crash

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Valentino Rossi blamed himself for the fast practice crash in Laguna Seca that saw yesterday afternoon’s session red flagged.

Rossi had just started to push to improve his pace from a 1.22.772 on a new soft Bridgestone rear tyre when he fell heavily at Turn 3.

The 33-year-old lost the front-end of his factory GP12 and he was able to walk away unhurt, though his Desmosedici punctured a trackside air fence and forced the red flags out while the damaged section was replaced.

Rossi, who is contemplating whether to stay with Ducati in 2013 or make a shock move back to Yamaha with Jorge Lorenzo, took full responsibility for the crash that left him down in ninth place on the timesheets.

His best time of 1.22.722 was 1.684s behind Dani Pedrosa’s impressive new Honda RC213V at the top of the timesheets and the nine-times world champion said: “I was very happy because I discovered with the new soft rear I had good grip, so I decided to push from the first flying lap. But I had the hard tyre on the front which did not have enough temperature on the right side and when I arrive in the corner I crash. It was my mistake. I’m fine and this is important but it is a pity because I didn’t have another chance to use that bike, which was the best bike with the softer tyre. In the last ten minutes I went with the hard tyre but it was sliding too much.”

Rossi was seventh in the morning practice session but hopes that he could use a new ECU in California disappeared after the system failed during a test after the recent Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.

Rossi crashed when the new ECU shutdown and Ducati didn’t make it available for his GP12 in Laguna Seca.

Rossi added: “In the morning we tried some things for the first touch of the throttle for a smoother engine but this is a small part of the new package that I hope will arrive as soon as possible. Unfortunately in Mugello after the failure of the ECU we can’t try the new stuff but we have something for the bottom. It is the first small step to have the engine smoother and sweeter in acceleration and it is not so bad. It looks like we are on the right direction but this is 10% of the entire package that has to arrive I hope as soon as possible.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt