Valentino Rossi suffered his first MotoGP non-finish since Aragon 2014 during Sunday's Austin race.

The Italian fell from his Movistar Yamaha on lap 3 of the grand prix, the front of his M1 sliding away through the fast Turn 2 right-hander.

"For sure the situation is different for this year with these tyres," Rossi explained. "Because last year the Bridgestone had some other problem but were very safe on the front.

"This year if you make a small mistake, you pay. Because at that corner I entered at the same speed, but have two bumps - maybe I was more inside and I lose the front. So you have to concentrate, be precise and try not to make any mistake in the race.

"When I understand [what had happened] already the bike was 30 metres or more in front of me!"

The nine time world champion believes it is down to the teams and riders, more than Michelin, to improve the margin of safety with the front tyre.

"Michelin can work but especially we have to work on the bikes, try to improve the bikes to make a better match with these tyres and especially try not to make any mistake," he said.

"For me like this is quite normal. I think it is like with the Pirelli in Superbike; If you make a mistake you crash. The Bridgestone you could make some small mistake without crashing.

"The Michelin tyres have good performance, are good to ride and I like. The problem is you can't make a mistake."

Rossi had been as high as second on the opening lap only to be swallowed by the pack along the back straight, demoting him to sixth, the position he later fell from. The Doctor revealed his lack of acceleration was down to a clutch issue.

"My problem today is that I burned the clutch on the start. For some reason this year with the clutch we are a little bit more in trouble and already in Argentina had some problem. But this time I burned the clutch so I had a lot of problems in the first two laps because it slipped a lot and I had to open the throttle 50% on the straight," he said.

"But I was there and think I have to stay quiet because usually after the start the temperature [of the clutch] goes down and the feeling comes back. In fact I felt the feeling come back but after I did the mistake, maybe I lost concentration.

"It's an great shame because we worked very well this weekend, I was very competitive - more than in the past here - and could do a good race. But I did a mistake. It happens."

The rare DNF leaves Rossi third in the world championship, but already 33-points behind Sunday's winner Marc Marquez.

Rossi's team-mate and reigning champion, who fell at the previous round in Argentina, is 12-points clear of Rossi after finishing runner-up in Austin.

By Peter McLaren


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