Valentino Rossi was left bitterly disappointed by his failure to finish on the podium at Phillip Island, admitting that losing seven points in the title chase to Jorge Lorenzo “breaks his balls.”
Rossi was part of an epic four-way scrap for honours at the Australian circuit, but ultimately lost out in the battle for the final podium spot to Andrea Iannone on the very last lap.
Had Lorenzo gone on to win, it would have meant the Spaniard reducing Rossi’s lead to six points – but luckily for the seven-time champion, Marc Marquez’s last-lap pass limited the damage by demoting Lorenzo to the runner-up spot.
Nonetheless, Rossi was unhappy at losing seven points to his arch-rival and Yamaha teammate, believing he had the speed to finish in front of Lorenzo despite a subdued showing in qualifying.
“It breaks my balls,” Rossi told GPOne.com in the immediate aftermath of the race. “It’s a real shame.
“I’m not happy to miss out on the podium after a great race from start to finish. I had the potential to be on the podium, and instead I lost seven points [to Lorenzo].
“My speed was good, I was able to fight Lorenzo. We were very close; if I had beaten him, the situation would have been completely different.
“I’m disappointed, because we had the speed to do it.”
Rossi now takes a lead of 11 points into the final two races of the year, and the seven-time premier class champion remains adamant he will not be distracted by title arithmetic as the season approaches its climax.
“In this championship, the favourite changes every race, depending on who arrives first,” added the Italian.
“To understand who will win [the championship], we must wait until November 8. The only thing that counts is to be ahead of Jorge after Valencia!"