Valentino Rossi has spoken of the emotions felt on Sunday, in what was a rollercoaster of a day for the Italian veteran, one which he described as “unforgettable” thanks to the success of his Sky Racing VR46 Moto2 team.

The 39-year old spoke of his “devastated” mood on Sunday afternoon, soon after crashing out of the lead of a premier class race for only the third time in his career.

The lows felt at that moment contrasted sharply to those experienced an hour before his race. Not only did Francesco Bagnaia wrap up the 2018 rider’s title, the first championship triumph for his team. Half-brother Luca Marini secured a debut grand prix win in the same race.

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“Maybe it’s the worst moment,” Rossi said, describing his response to crashing out of an epic, tense victory fight with Marc Marquez. “After the victory of my brother also, it can be a great, great day. But it’s like this.”

But asked for his take on the Moto2 success, and Rossi spoke with great pride. “It’s an emotion, you have to stay three hours on the chair like this [looks drained] to recover and maybe cry,” he said. “I also cry a little bit. But you have to do your race, so f**k, it’s difficult! It’s very, very difficult.

“It was an unbelievable feeling. It was an unforgettable day for us because it’s the first world championship for our team. Also for the academy it’s fantastic because Pecco won his first title.

“Also my brother, he’s impressive this year, he impressed me with his improvement. I’m so happy, so proud of him. Sincerely I don’t think he can win a race this year. So I’m very happy and I hope that he can continue in this way.”

Speaking after the race that secured his first world title, a jubilant Bagnaia said, “This is the first time I was fighting for a championship. I started with pocketbikes and the only championship that I won was the mini-GPs 50cc European championship. I was always learning to be better.

“Last year I had the possibility to go to MotoGP. But I was thinking it would be better to try and win it [Moto2] because all the team was able to win. We made great work last year and this winter.

“When I started the season, I tried to push from the first test. The win in Qatar was incredible but I think the championship was mine after the race in Austria. I took the lead again and pushed until Japan. We had a great gap in Malaysia. I’m very happy today.”

And Marini added, “It was a great race but also really, really difficult. The strategy was really simple. I wanted to stay in front as many laps as possible because I knew that behind it would be difficult for the riders, because the air is really hot. For the tyres and engine it’s very difficult.

“I started really well. In the first corners the other riders started well, but I was mad to overtake them. In the first two laps I pushed to make a gap. I tried to push more at the end to create a gap with Miguel and then stay calm on the last lap.

“It’s difficult to explain the feeling. It’s really amazing and similar to what I expect. But I think in the next moment, minutes and hours it will be great. So I’ll wait now for that, to drink something with my family, my friends, my girlfriend and the team. Today we did a great job and now we can do a little bit of party.”

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