Valentino Rossi hopes of going one place better than last weekend and finishing on his home Misano MotoGP podium came to an end on only the second lap of Sunday's Emilia Romagna round.

After maintaining his seventh on the grid during the opening lap, the Monster Yamaha rider then lost the front and slid off at the slow Turn 4 right-hander.

"For sure, it's a shame that I made a mistake on the second lap," Rossi said. "There was a bit of confusion in that moment, because all riders were close together. Unfortunately, I lost the front in Turn 4. It's a pity because we lose some points."

Rossi re-joined at the back of the field where he remained until pitting and retiring on lap 16.

"After the mistake I continued. I did some other laps to try to understand the rhythm, because we changed the setting of the bike a bit this weekend," he said.

"The rear grip in acceleration is not our strong point. So we tried some different things and it looked like yesterday I was not so bad, but today already from this morning I suffered a little bit more. Especially about sliding and degradation of the rear.

"Unfortunately my race is just one lap and a half laps so I don’t know exactly my potential, but last week I felt more competitive. It's a shame, but this is the way it is.

"On the bright side, we have another race next week in Barcelona. That is a very good track, I like it a lot. The asphalt and grip level will be very different there. We hope that we will be competitive again.

"The championship is still long, so anything can happen."

Rossi's second DNF of the season, after an engine failure at Jerez, means he is now ninth in the world championship but only 26 points from Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) heading into the second half of the season at Barcelona next weekend.

"Today I lost some points but it doesn't change a lot. I mean we are a lot of riders in a small difference of points and the championship is still very open, very long. Everything can happen.

"But we need to be stronger, to go faster and during this weekend we tried something to improve but at the end during the race I don't feel very well with the bike. I don't have a lot of grip… we need to be faster."

After a near perfect day for the VR46 riders last Sunday, Francesco Bagnaia joined Rossi on the DNF list after crashing from the lead while Franco Morbidelli was forced off-track by Aleix Espargaro's accident on the opening lap.

Meanwhile, Rossi's team-mate Maverick Vinales went on to claim his first victory of the season and is now only one-point behind Dovizioso.

 

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