Valentino Rossi has taken full blame for crashing out of the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, but said he had no chance to save it from happening.
Rossi fell at about 150kph on the downhill right-hander at Turn 2, and was unable to rejoin the race as his bike was too badly damaged – although he was unhurt.
It was his first retirement due to an accident since Aragon in 2014.
He said he did suffer a recurrence of the clutch problem he had in the early laps in Argentina, but that this wasn’t related to his crash.
“Fortunately I’m OK, because that corner is quite fast,” said Rossi. “It was a ‘good’ crash.
“Unfortunately I burned the clutch at the start, and I had a lot of problems in the first two laps, because the clutch slipped a lot, so I have to say half throttle on the straight – so everyone overtook me.
“I tried to stay quiet and concentrated, because I know the clutch usually comes back when it cools down, and in fact it was coming better.
“But I arrived at Turn 2 on the third lap and I lost the front. For me, the bike was normal, for sure I did some mistake: maybe I entered too fast or was a little too much inside. It’s a great shame because this weekend we worked very well, and I was very competitive.
“I could have done a good race but I did a mistake, and that happens. Apart from the crash, it was my best weekend here in Austin. We can be very strong.”
No chance to save crash
Asked if he had any chance of saving the crash by pushing himself upright again, he replied: “No. When I understand, already the bike is 30 metres or more in front!
“In that corner I entered with the same speed, there are two bumps, and maybe I was more inside, maybe I lost concentration, maybe I wanted more, and I lost the front.”