Valentino Rossi has told MCN that there’s no need to worry about his future in the premiere class just yet, despite suffering possibly the worst weekend of his 23-year career at his home race in Mugello on Sunday, June 2.
Qualifying a distant 18th and then crashing out of last place after making contact with Joan Mir and ending up in the gravel, the nine-time world champion says that despite the disaster, it’s not anywhere near time to call it quits just yet.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider suffered disaster after disaster throughout the weekend, with a series of tactical mistakes and on-track errors that meant he was always playing ‘catch-up’.
But, despite being someone who says that his love of the sport is what keeps him racing at 40-years-old, Rossi was adamant afterwards that he’s far from the point of quitting in frustration despite Mugello being the culmination of a series of bad seasons on the Yamaha.
"It was one of the worst weekends in a long time, because we arrived expecting to be strong in Mugello but unfortunately it wasn’t like that and I wasn’t so fast in all the practices. I made a mistake on my very important lap to get into Q2, and after that everything got even more difficult.
"Starting from so far behind is always difficult, and I lost everything when I touched Mir as I tried to overtake him.
"In Austin, only a month or so ago, I was very close to the win and I was very happy there. Days like that are much easier. But we have to remain concentrated, try our maximum on the bad weekends and do the best we can. The answer is ‘No’, it’s not time for Yamaha and the fans to be worried yet!"
But while he might have been quick to reassure his fans after his disastrous weekend in front of his home crowd, Rossi also conceded that the series of events that sent him into the gravel were out of character for him and his normally-faultless team.
Making a mistake during the lap he was relying on to get into Q2 directly and then messing up in his on-track battle with Alex Rins during Q1 which left both towards the back of the grid, Rossi told MCN afterwards it was a consequence of a series of mistakes building up on each other as he continues to struggle with an uncompetitive M1.
"When you are slow, everything becomes more difficult because you have to try things. I try to arrive into this time of the year ready because I know last year that between Mugello and Sachsenring last year I took a lot of points.
"Already Le Mans was a big mess, and we made some mistakes in Mugello. If I didn’t make some of them, things could have been different and we could have had a different race – and for that we’re working."
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