Valentino Rossi: Mugello engine failure a 'very heavy' title blow

Valentino Rossi fears his Yamaha engine failure in the Italian Grand Prix will prove "very heavy" in his quest for an eighth MotoGP title

Valentino Rossi: Mugello engine failure a 'very heavy' title blow

Rossi was challenging team-mate and eventual victor Jorge Lorenzo during last Sunday's race at Mugello, the pair split by just 0.135 seconds after eight of the 23 laps.

But Rossi's race and hopes of a dream victory in his home grand prix came to an end on the ninth lap, when his M1's engine failed.

It was the second Yamaha engine to fail on the day, with Lorenzo losing a unit inside the final 90 seconds of the morning warm-up.

Lorenzo now leads Marc Marquez by 10 points in the championship and Rossi by 37, and the Italian feels that while all three riders have crashed out of a race, his mechanical DNF puts him on the back foot.

"This year I am faster, I am more competitive," he said in comparison to 2015, when he finished second to Lorenzo in the championship.

"Also in the practice every time I am stronger but unfortunately I made a mistake in Austin, but a mistake in these six races also Lorenzo and Marquez did.

"But unfortunately this one's very heavy.

"It was from Misano 2007 that my bike [last] broke in the race, this means that it's nine years and it's heavy. But it can happen.

"I think that there was something wrong with both engines between Lorenzo and me, but the bigger difference is that Lorenzo's happened in the warm-up and mine happened in the race.

"It's like this. You cannot do nothing, you have to just be desperate and at the same time take the good from the weekend and try next time."

Rossi could take solace from his pace and that he was fighting Lorenzo in a race the Spaniard dominated 12 months earlier, when he won and finished 6.661s clear of third-placed Rossi.

"It's a great shame also for the championship because I take the zero and also Lorenzo and Marquez arrived first and second, so now the distance from the top is 37 points," he said.

"It's very bad, it's quite a big gap but the beautiful thing, the good thing, the positive aspect is that I was fast, I was strong. I was very, very fast in the race.

"This is the most important thing and I was ready to fight for the victory.

"Now we just have to wait for Barcelona and try another time."

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Rider Points
1 Jorge Lorenzo 115
2 Marc Marquez 105
3 Valentino Rossi 78
4 Dani Pedrosa 66
5 Maverick Vinales 59

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