Rossi: I appealed to CAS to understand if possible to have normal fight

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Valentino Rossi faces an uphill task on Sunday with the Italian now set to start at the back of the grid. With the rejection of his appeal for a stay of execution for his back of the grid penalty for causing Marc Marquez to crash in Malaysia Rossi will need to work his way through the pack to claim a tenth title.

“Starting from the back of the grid makes everything very difficult,” admitted Rossi. “It was already difficult but starting from last makes the race a lot harder. But I’m here, we have to try the maximum, stay concentrated, make good work during the weekend and arrive as competitive and fast as possible for the race on Sunday.”

When asked about his decision to appeal his penalty to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest body of appeal in world sports, Rossi said:

“I decided to go to CAS to try to understand if it was possible to fight for the championship in a normal way. The answer of the CAS has not arrived yet but I will have to start last. They need time to decide and we will see what they decide but the important thing now is that I have to start last. Apart from that, Carmelo and the FIM have asked us not to speak any more about the past and what happened in Sepang. We have another race, the last race of the season so we have to try and focus on the target and achieving the maximum this weekend.”

This won’t be the first time that Rossi has started from the back of the grid. In Qatar in 2004 he was relegated to the back on Saturday night after trying to lay down rubber on his grid slot using a paddock scooter. That day Rossi retired but it at least gives him some perspective of the task he will face.

“When you start last it is very difficult to work on strategy! First of all I have to work hard in the practice and be competitive and have a good pace. The race is very long, it’s 30 laps and for sure when you start last it is a lot harder. I will try to recover but it is very early to stay. I need to understand my potential and make the right choice for the settings and the tyres and we will also see what the conditions are. After that we will give our maximum on Sunday.”

Steve English

By Steve English