When the Spanish Grand Prix got underway on a wet and slick Jerez Circuit Sunday, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi immediately showed promise.
Piloting the Ducati GP11 donning the famed 46, Rossi battled from an 11th-place start to the third position by lap 8.
But when Rossi finally caught and passed the man in second, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, the Italian lost the front and crashed. During the MotoGP wreck, Rossi also took out Stoner, who started at Jerez from the pole.
But after both MotoGP pilots remounted their prototypes, Valentino Rossi was able to finish fifth after multiple other crashes at the wet Jerez MotoGP Circuit, the Italian garnering 11 points. But Stoner wasn’t able to finish, and suffered a DNF.
Rossi is now fifth in the championship with 20 points, 25 points behind the leader, former teammate Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Valentino Rossi (Ducati MotoGP Team) says: “(Sunday) in the wet we had a great chance for me to make my first podium with Ducati, or even to get my first win. I felt good, both with the bike and my shoulder, because I could brake where I wanted to rather than where I’m forced to in the dry, since I still don’t have the necessary strength.
“The bike is very fast in the wet. I was advancing really well, and I’m sorry to have made that mistake and thrown away such an opportunity. While braking for the first corner, I entered a bit long, and although I tried to stay to the inside, I lost the front and couldn’t stay up.
“I’m sorry, because I also took out Stoner, and I certainly didn’t want to do that. I apologized to him, and I’m truly sorry; it was a mistake. It’s a shame because we really could have gotten some satisfaction, but we’ll keep trying. We’re still not so fast in the dry, but we’re working hard. Anyway today’s fifth place gave us eleven points that are very important in the championship.”
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