On the eve of the MotoGP title decider in Valencia, Valentino Rossi has said he has to regret his collision in the Malaysian GP with Honda’s Marc Marquez – an action that has demoted him to the back of the grid.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Rossi – who leads Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo by seven points in the title race – admitted regret at the line he took that prompted the collision with Marquez at Sepang.
“At the end, unfortunately I don't have any other choice, I just regret to go wide and not follow my normal line – but apart from that it is better that we speak about this weekend,” he said.
“Unfortunately starting the back of the grid makes everything very difficult, already it was difficult anyway but starting from last makes the things in the race a lot more harder under a lot points of view.
“But I am here, and we have to try the maximum and stay concentrated, try to make a good work during the weekend and arrive competitive and as fast as possible for Sunday for the race – and after the start, [we will] see what happens.”
Focusing on weekend ahead
With the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision today to deny the stay of execution for Rossi’s appeal against his back-of-grid start, Valentino said he has put Sepang behind him.
“For sure a lot of people speak about the race in Malaysia, about the incident, and it is because I was on the bike I decided to work at the task, to try to understand if it is possible to fight for the championship in a normal way,” he said.
“The aspect of the task has not arrived yet, because the [CAS decision] of today means I have to start last in this race because they need time to decide.
“We have to wait and see what they decide, but the important thing is that I have to start last. We have the last race, we have to try to focus on the target and try to give the maximum for this weekend.
“The race is very long, 30 laps, when you start last the risk are a lot more, when I will try to recover. But it is very early to say, I need to understand my potential, I need to do the right choice for setting and tyre choice and see also the conditions and after try to give the maximum and try to recover on Sunday.”
Not lost his passion for racing
Rossi confirmed that he would not walk away from the sport, having previously told media in Malaysia that there was a chance he "won’t even start” in Valencia.
He confirmed, however, that his passion for MotoGP had not been dimmed by the controversy.
“For sure my dream was to fight for the championship and after a very good season I can fight, but for sure I will try to fight in a normal situation. For the rest, this situation doesn't modify my passion or my thinking of the future,” he added.
“I will race next year because I have already the contract and during next year a lot of things will change, so [it will] maybe change also the level – and after I decide to continue or not.”