Valentino Rossi after nightmare weekend: ‘We expected to be stronger’

Valentino Rossi endured a “difficult weekend” because of the time lost in practice due to his crash, his teammate has said.
Valentino Rossi, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June
Valentino Rossi, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June

The motorcycle racing legend had his worst outing on four wheels since retiring from MotoGP and joining the GT World Challenge Europe championship.

Rossi and teammate Frederic Vervisch finished 14th and 16th in two sprint races on Saturday and Sunday in Zandvoort, the Netherlands.

Rossi: ‘’It was a difficult weekend, we expected to be stronger because the feeling when we tested here in the winter was good. 

“My pace was good at the end but not enough to be in the top10, we hope to do better next time.”

The Italian, now 43, experienced his first difficulties on Friday when he crashed during practice. The Team WRT Audi had to be swapped from Rossi’s trademark yellow livery to a green alternative.

He did managed an impressive overtake of Chris Froggatt in the first race but his momentum ended with a spin, and he and Vervisch were forced to settle outside of the points.

Vervisch reflected: “It was of course a difficult weekend because we lost a lot of practice time, but the team did a great job to give us another car, and we did what we could starting from the back. We finished the races and we gained a lot of experience.”

Valentino Rossi / Frédéric Vervisch - Team WRT Audi R8 LMS evo II
Valentino Rossi / Frédéric Vervisch - Team WRT Audi R8 LMS evo II

Rossi and Vervisch’s fellow Team WRT Audi drivers Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts won the first race.

Zandvoort marked the halfway point of Rossi’s first championship since ending his MotoGP legacy.

There have been moments of genuine enterprise from the motorsport icon as well as moments of naivety, such as driving past his pit crew during his debut race.

Rossi will next race in Misano, Italy, on 1-3 July.

Read More