Valentino Rossi admitted he was thinking about Jerez 2011 when he caught Casey Stoner early in Sunday's wet French MotoGP at Le Mans.

Then riding in only his second race for Ducati, Rossi had used damp conditions at Jerez to carve his way forwards from twelfth on the grid in the opening laps. But an over-ambitious pass on Stoner saw Rossi fall and take down the Repsol Honda rider.

Rossi rejoined, Stoner didn't.

Rossi's post-race attempt to apologise prompted Stoner's "Did your ambition outweigh your talent?" jibe - a quote that is now being modified ("Your talent outweighs your ambition") to sum up Stoner's shock retirement decision.

The Jerez incident was the most recent of several on-track clashes between Rossi and Stoner, including their thrilling 2008 Laguna Seca duel.

So when seventh-on-the-grid Rossi caught runner-up Stoner early in Sunday's soaking Le Mans race, the Italian admits his Jerez error was firmly on his mind.

"For me yes, yes, yes!" confirmed Rossi, when asked if he had thought about it.

"Unfortunately last year I had a special chance in Jerez to try for the podium and I did a mistake because I behaved a little bit like a young rider and unfortunately I also took Casey down.

"This time I was behind him I stayed behind. I knew he had a good pace and my thinking was to stay behind and try to go with him to [leader] Jorge.

"I was always thinking about the mistake of last year, yes!"

Stoner, having listened to the Italian's words, said he also sensed it was on Rossi's mind.

"I could actually feel towards the beginning of the race that Valentino was thinking about Jerez," he smiled.

"I heard Valentino getting on the gas very early and I expected to see a bike coming up the inside but I didn't. So I knew immediately Valentino was thinking about it!

"But I knew also at the end of the race, when he got a second chance, he wasn't going to think about it then."

Rossi had dropped back from Stoner due to fogging in his visor, then reeled the reigning double world champion back in again during the closing stages.

After two cautious passes saw Stoner cut straight back inside, Rossi secured second place - and his best Ducati finish - into the chicane on the very final lap.

"I tried to hold on and do everything I could in the braking points, but we had nothing for him," said Stoner.

Stoner is now eight points behind championship leader and Le Mans winner Lorenzo after four of 18 rounds, with Rossi in sixth place.

While Stoner (26) intends to retire at the end of this year, Rossi (33) said he wants to race on for a further two years.



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