22 August 2016
MotoGP Czech Republic: Rossi: I wasn't brave enough like Cal!
'Unfortunately we did not also put the hard on the front because this morning I had not a very good feeling with the soft, so I was not brave enough like Cal' - Valentino Rossi.
Valentino Rossi was relieved his decision to run the hard rear tyre at Brno paid off, even if the Movistar Yamaha rider was a little rueful that he chose the soft Michelin front.
British rider Cal Crutchlow made the perfect choice as he opted for hard tyres front and rear, pulling clear in the finals laps to win by over seven seconds from Rossi.
The Italian star has climbed to second place in the championship ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and closed the gap slightly to leader Marc Marquez to 53 points, who finished third on the Repsol Honda.
“I did the warm-up lap before I arrived on the grid and the conditions were very different compared to this morning, when there was a lot more water,” Rossi said.
“We said, 'what do we do – we put the hard?' We spoke also a lot with Pascal from Michelin and also on the grid was a little bit of confusion because everybody looks at the other bikes for understand the tyre choice.
“It was a risk but in the end we tried, but unfortunately we did not also put the hard on the front because this morning I had not a very good feeling with the soft, so I was not brave enough like Cal,” he added.
“The first laps were a nightmare, I was desperate and I said 'I did a mistake another time'. Everybody overtook me from the outside, from the inside – it was difficult. At one point I understand that maybe today it would dry enough to affect the race and from that moment I understand that maybe my choice was better. Also, Cal overtook me and I saw him very fast and I know that he had the hard, so I just tried to ride well and not make any mistakes.”
Rossi was languishing in around 12th place during the beginning of the race but he soon realised that his decision to run the hard rear had proven correct.
“On the grid I think we have a big chance to have another flag to flag race. I think that with the soft on the rear, today with our bike after four or five laps we lose too much. So I say if after four or five laps we it is still not dry enough, what do we do?
“So maybe I have to suffer a little bit in the beginning but after I understand that I have more time for to fight to the flag and this was the decision,” he said.
“In fact, today with the Yamaha – I was also with Pol [Espargaro] and with [Bradley] Smith – who were with the soft tyre and already after four or five laps, they suffer very much, so in the end it was the right choice.”
With Lorenzo finishing outside the points and Marquez also crossing the line behind him in third, Rossi came off best of the main title protagonists at Brno and the 37-year-old was delighted to return to the rostrum once again.
“First of all it is very important because I wasn't on the podium after the victory in Barcelona and it is a long time ago and I start to be a little bit sad. After Barcelona I was in some races where I was competitive but I was unlucky and I made too many mistakes: we lose a lot of points and I lose the possibility to win and to arrive on the podium, so this result is very important to me and all the team.
“Also these 20 points are important for the championship because especially in the fight with Lorenzo I gained a lot of points and now I am second.”
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