After suffering one of his worst ever home MotoGP weekends, Valentino Rossi's choice of tonic came in the form a long-awaited return to his favourite motocross track, alongside Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

"Yeah, always to go with the motorcycle is good after a hard weekend like in Mugello," said Rossi, who had been banned from returning to the Cavallara motocross circuit after an injury two years ago.

"Cavallara is the track where I was injured in 2017, but it's one of my favourite tracks. It's a fantastic place. I love always to go there," said the Italian, speaking on the eve of this weekend's Catalunya MotoGP.

"Unfortunately before Mugello in 2017 I had a crash and was injured, so all my team - especially my father - don't let me go there for two years. I push always, but it's forbidden!

"But from the beginning of this season we speak with Dovizioso and Petrucci, to train together one time on the motocross bikes. So I went to my father and said 'Have Petrucci and Dovizioso this time, I have to go!'

"So I had one 'ticket', for one day!

"We trained and we enjoyed a lot. As well as Dovi and Petrux there were a lot of motocross riders of a top level, from the World Championship and European championship."

Rossi then played host to WRC star Sebastien Ogier, who made a visit to The Doctor's Moto Ranch.

"For me Ogier is a hero because I am a rally fanatic and he is one of the greatest of the history," Rossi said. "I already know him because in his first race in the World Rally car I was there and I started behind him. So I know him from England at the RAC Rally in 2008. We spoke and then he was just a young Frenchman in the championship.

"It was an honour to have him at the ranch. He came to see the training, with his wife, who works for DTM. So they stayed with us, we speak and he wants to try a World Rally Car at the ranch! So maybe one time we can organise."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Piedi pesanti al Ranch! Great pleasure to have Gerhard Berger and @sebogier with us at the MotoRanch for follow our training and speak about Racing Cars @vr46ridersacademyofficial @camilss

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Rossi - who qualified just 18th at Mugello, then fell in the race, after dropping to last following contact with Joan Mir - admitted the poor Italian performance had been a 'shock'.

"The Mugello weekend was very tough, very hard. Also because I arrived with good expectations. Because in 2018 I did a good race. So it was a bit of a shock to see the reality and be more in trouble," he said.

It also means Rossi is approaching another of his favourite circuits with caution, this weekend in Barcelona.

"This track is one of my favourites, I love this place. At the beginning of my career it was for sure my favourite track, but anyway also now it is one of my best three. But we see.

"We arrive in a difficult moment, we are not very fast unfortunately. But we need at minimum to work better than at Mugello, to stay more concentrated and try to be strong from tomorrow and try to make the best."

A lack of top speed was the most obvious M1 deficiency at Mugello, but Petronas rider Franco Morbidelli expressed hope that the downhill nature of the long Catalunya straight could mean they suffer less this weekend.

"I don’t know… it's an interesting theory!" Rossi responded.

 

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