MotoGP Germany: Valentino Rossi: I lost a good opportunity.

Valentino Rossi saw a golden opportunity to pull back points on MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez slip away in the closing stages of Sunday's Sachsenring race. While Marquez dropped to ninth after running off-track in the early wet stages of the grand prix, then down to 14th after pitting for his dry bike, Rossi was in the thick of a five-way victory battle. But the intensity of the contest seemed to lull the frontrunners into waiting too long before pitting for their dry bikes, allowing the charging Marquez to complete an unlikely victory comeback. Things went from bad to worse for Rossi, who emerged on intermediates and couldn't keep pace with the podium battle, leaving him in eighth place. 

“It's a great shame because I think that we can be competitive in a dry race and also in a normal wet race I can fight for the victory,” Rossi said. “But unfortunately it stopped raining and became dry. So we lost a good opportunity to make good points.” 

Rossi - like race leader Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Hector Barbera - made his pit stop on lap 23 of 30. Given Marquez's speed on slicks, and Andrea Iannone's on intermediates, they undoubtedly stayed out longer than their teams wanted. 

But Rossi's biggest issue was the lack of speed after his pit stop, the Yamaha star losing almost ten-seconds to eventual podium finishers Crutchlow (2nd) and Dovizioso (3rd) in the space of three laps. 

“The biggest problem was that I was very slow in the second part of the race with the intermediate on the drying track,” The Doctor confirmed. “I had no feeling with the bike. I was very, very slow in the first lap, ten seconds, because I didn't feel the bike. I didn't feel the tyres.” 

With Marquez in spectator form on slicks, some were quick to state that fitting intermediates to Rossi's bike had clearly been a mistake. 

But while all the riders that finished in front of Rossi had at least a slick rear tyre, only the Hondas - renowned for working the front tyre - went for slicks front and rear. 

Indeed, Jorge Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg believes only the combination of Marquez's hard-riding style and the Honda's tendency to (over) load the front allowed the Spaniard to get away with such an early change to slicks. 

“After the problems we had [getting temperature into] the front tyre on Friday we decided to put the intermediates,” Rossi explained. “We make the decision together with the team, because on Friday for us the soft front slick was too hard. 

“I don't know if it was a wrong choice and it would be interesting to try the slick if we can go back in time. But on paper the slick can also be more difficult because in the first lap I had no feeling even with the intermediate tyres and I was very slow. 

“I think in these conditions first of all I'm not very strong, but also our bike is very difficult to ride because it doesn't give enough feeling to push from the beginning, and at the end I finish just eighth and I lost a good opportunity to make points. 

“It's a great shame because in the normal conditions, dry or wet, we can arrive on the podium. But it's like this, and we try next time.” 

Team-mate Lorenzo struggled even more than Rossi, finishing in just 15th place. 

Rossi has closed to eleven points behind the reigning world champion, but is now 59 points from Marquez as MotoGP heads for its mid-season break. 

“It's very difficult,” Rossi said of the championship situation. “In these first nine races I don't take the amount of points that I can take, because I did some mistakes. So the distance with Marquez, to the top, is very hard. 

“But anyway, we have another half of the championship. Nine races is very long. We need to work well, try to be competitive, make the maximum and after we will see.” 

Source: http://www.crash.net

RACE:

1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 47m 3.239s
2. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 47m 13.096s
3. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 47m 14.852s
4. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 47m 15.231s
5. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 47m 25.994s
6. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 47m 29.159s
7. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 47m 29.282s
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 47m 29.688s
9. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 47m 29.853s
10. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 47m 34.513s
11. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 47m 44.447s
12. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 47m 45.397s
13. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 48m 6.368s
14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 48m 9.330s
15. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 48m 20.933s
16. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* +1 lap
17. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) +2 laps
18. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) +3 laps
Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) DNF
Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) DNF

World Championship:

1. Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 170 points
2. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 122 points (-48) 
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 111 points (-59) 
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 96 points (-74) 
5. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 83 points (-87) 
6. Pol Espargaro SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 72 points (-98) 
7. Hector Barbera SPA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 65 points (-105) 
8. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 63 points (-107) 
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 59 points (-111) 
10. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 53 points (-117) 
11. Aleix Espargaro SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 51 points (-119) 
12. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 45 points (-125) 
13. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 42 points (-128) 
14. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 40 points (-130) 
15. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 37 points (-133) 
16. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 35 points (-135) 
17. Alvaro Bautista SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 35 points (-135) 
18. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 24 points (-146) 
19. Michele Pirro ITA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 19 points (-151) 
20. Tito Rabat SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 18 points (-152) 
21. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 8 points (-162) 
22. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 3 points (-167) 

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