Valentino Rossi will start the daunting process of trying to recover 37-points on team-mate and title leader Jorge Lorenzo this weekend in Catalunya.
Rossi was shadowing Lorenzo for the race lead at Mugello when the engine on his M1 spectacularly expired on lap 9 of 23
, leaving the home hero to face his first mechanical DNF since 2007.
Losing the chance to end his Mugello win drought was painful enough but, as Rossi admitted, the championship damage was of greater long-term concern.
The Doctor's second non-finish of the season has left him 37-points behind Lorenzo and 27 from Honda's Marc Marquez, heading into this weekend's Catalunya round.
“The Catalunya Grand Prix is held at one of my favourite tracks,” said Rossi, who held the points lead until the final round in last year's championship. “I like the circuit a lot as well as the atmosphere. I think that I can have a good potential to do a good race.
“I'm coming to Spain with the knowledge that I'm able to be fast, but also with regret for what would have been a great race at Mugello. The most important thing is that we were very fast on Sunday thanks to the work we did during the weekend. In Barcelona we have to work in the same way and get ready to race.”
Rossi finished a close second to Lorenzo at Catalunya last season, winning the event in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and most recently 2009 - when he snatched victory from Lorenzo at the final turn.