Valentino Rossi maintained his 100 per cent podium finishing record in this year’s MotoGP championship, but rued a poor start and general lack of grip for his distant third place in the Czech Grand Prix.
Rossi lost his points lead to race-winning Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo as a result of his third-place finish.
The pair are now tied on 211 points, but Lorenzo leads by dint of five wins to Rossi’s three.
“I expected a better race but I don’t think I had the tyres,” admitted Rossi. “I expected to be faster and stronger. I know that with Jorge it would be very difficult, but I hoped I could stay together with Marc [Marquez].
“But, unfortunately, my start was bad. It was not just the start, I hadn’t enough rhythm – I struggled a lot with the bike. I tried to push, but I wasn’t able to be fast enough.
“It looks like I had not enough grip from the front and rear. At the end, it’s a podium, I was lucky that the group behind me also have problems, maybe bigger than me.
"I expected to be stronger, and do a better race closer to the first two."
“Maybe we did some small mistakes”
Rossi opted for hard tyres front and rear, compared to Lorenzo on the mediums, but felt that pre-race changes to his bike might have negatively affected its balance.
“For me, I don’t think I have the tyres,” he said. “I simply used the tyre I felt better using in practice. For some reason, today was different.
“We did some modifications with the bike, and maybe we did some small mistakes. I think it’s more for that reason I wasn’t fast enough.”
MotoGP moves on to Silverstone next, where Rossi was again on the podium last year.
“Silverstone is a great track, but very difficult,” he said. “Last year I did quite a good race, and the weather conditions are colder there, maybe rain. We hope for a good weekend and do the maximum.”