Rossi says “physical condition” cost him Mugello podium
Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi says he didn't have enough energy to score a home race podium in the Italian Grand Prix, as he “suffered more than normal” due to his injury.
Rossi sustained chest and abdomen trauma in a motocross crash last week, but had recovered enough to be competitive at Mugello, qualifying second on the grid.
He led the first three laps of the race and remained with the leading pack for almost the entire distance, but eventually had to settle for fourth behind Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales and Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci.
“For sure it’s a great shame [to miss] the podium, because it’s always a target,” Rossi said after the race. “Here in Mugello it’s more important in front of all the crowd.
“Sincerely, I trusted I could do [it] because in practice I was fast. Inside of me I knew 23 laps would be difficult, because I suffered more than normal – in practice when you do four or five laps it’s one story, you can recover, but more in a row is more difficult.
“Eight laps to go, I was already finished and I started to suffer more.”
The Italian said Ducati enjoyed an advantage in grip in the Mugello race, but insisted it was his lack of energy that prevented him from securing a better result.
“I was quite strong, I could fight,” Rossi said. “Today the Ducatis were very good because they could use the medium rear. For us, with the Yamaha, we had to use the hard, with a little bit less grip.
“For me personally the problem was my physical condition, because in the last laps I wasn’t able to make a bit more because I was already [exhausted].”
While disappointed to miss out on the podium, Rossi reckoned he had a “good race”, finishing just 3.7s behind the winner after having doubted earlier in the week that he'd be able to take part at all.
“I tried not to give up behind Petrux, but unfortunately I wasn’t strong enough to attack," he said.
“I’m very sorry [to miss] the podium for sure, but on Tuesday I thought maybe I cannot race, it was anyway a good race.”
Additional reporting by Matteo Nugnes
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