By Neil Morrison

Valentino Rossi adorned a set of donkey's ears in his garage after the Japanese MotoGP race, referencing the mistake which scuppered his chances of fighting for his seventh podium finish of 2013.

Starting from the middle of the second row in fifth the Italian got a fine start and moved into second behind Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. However a mistake at the tricky, downhill turn 11 on lap two allowed Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to move ahead.

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A mistake at the same corner on the next lap proved even more costly, forcing him off track. By the time he crossed the gravel to re-join the race he was eleventh. With all chances of a strong finish gone, Rossi set about climbing through the top ten, picking off both factory Ducatis and Tech 3 Yamahas to finish sixth, 24 seconds behind Lorenzo.

A downbeat Rossi said: "I made a great start but on the second lap when I arrived at turn 11 I had not enough power on the brakes and I went too deep and lost two positions. On the next lap it was the same.

"It was my mistake then because I should have remembered from the lap before that I didn't have enough on the brakes. I couldn't stay on the track and lost a lot of positions," said the 34-year old.

"After that I tried to do the maximum. My pace was quite good and think I could have been in fourth place but it wasn't enough to get on the podium."