The rainfall at Assen certainly did not help his changes, but Valentino Rossi freely admits it’s not the only reason he left Assen with zero points.
— CRASH.NET/MotoGP (@crash_motogp) June 26, 2016
He’d been holding third place prior to the heavy showers that assailed the Assen circuit, but he doesn’t think that’s what had him sliding off his bike on the third lap. Rather, Rossi pushed himself far harder than either he or his bike could handle and thus missed an opportune moment to leave his famed Spanish MotoGP rivals in the dust.
“It is a great shame, because today was a good chance to make a good result and take some important points for the championship. In the dry I had a good pace, but also in the wet I was not so bad.
“I think it was right to red flag the first race because the amount of water was too much and it began to get very dangerous. The bike started to aquaplane a lot and you couldn’t see anything behind another bike.
“But I felt good and I had a good pace. So for the second part, we put in the soft rear tyre [instead of the hard] and it felt even better. I had a good start and I tried to go fast because with the soft tyre, I had a lot more grip.
“But I did a mistake. I was too fast. I pushed too hard. It was too much. It was a stupid mistake, unfortunately, and I’m very sorry for all the team because today we can win.”
No one likes letting a chance slip through their fingers. But the Doctor is especially bitter when his misjudgments result in Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez getting the better of him. The Spaniards are some of his most hated rivals, their riding prowess enough to incite his furious accusations of conspiracies and a literal kick off a bike. What he detests is being shown up by new kids on the block and these two have done it time and time again.
Right now, they’re sitting pretty ahead of him, Marquez by 42 and Lorenzo by 18. It’s no wonder he lost his head a bit and went harder than he should have. What we’d suggest for him going in is to keep his head at all costs. As a talented racer in his own right, he has no need for the bullying tactics and rash decisions he has been employing so far. Perhaps telling him to “just believe in himself” is naive and platitudinous, but we think a position of confidence is a good place to start.