Valentino Rossi’s British GP podium bid halted by tyre issues


Valentino Rossi was unable to capitalise on his second-place MotoGP British Grand Prix starting spot, after an early tyre issue resigned him to a distant fourth.

The Yamaha rider ran with Honda’s Marc Marquez in the opening laps, but was quickly usurped by eventual race winner Alex Rins on the Suzuki and his Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales.

Rossi ended up 10 seconds adrift of the podium battle due to his “very damaged” hard rear tyre – though he feels this was more a set-up issue than a Michelin problem.

“My tyre was very, very damaged at the end, like Cal [Crutchlow’s] and Jack [Miller’s], also Franco [Morbidelli’s] I think a little bit,” said Rossi.

“For me I think it is more our problem, because unfortunately compared to Maverick and [Fabio] Quartararo we suffer always a bit more with the rear grip.

“So looks like today it was more hot and I had more problems compared to Maverick for example, because Maverick on Saturday did a lot of laps on this tyre and the pace is exactly the same as today.

“I was good [on Saturday], I was more like Maverick, but today it [the problem] was more for us.

“We need to understand the way to save more the rear tyre to suffer less.”

Crutchlow was just over seven seconds back from Rossi in sixth, after battling a rear tyre issue similar to the one he had during June’s Italian Grand Prix.

When asked by Autosport if he suffered a similar chunking issue to at Mugello, he said “I can’t tell you, we’ll be in trouble” – but called the resulting disparity in lap time between himself and seventh-placed Danilo Petrucci as “just ridiculous”.

“I had no grip from lap one, and a problem with the rear tyre again,” an angry Crutchlow told Autosport.

“We don’t know what it is, we don’t know why it happened, but it was similar to Mugello – we had a problem with the rear tyre.

“There’s no way in the world Petrucci can be one and a half seconds faster at the end of the race than us.

“That’s nothing against Danilo – he’s obviously a great rider – but the difference is just ridiculous.

“Some tyres held up, some didn’t. You saw some of the guys really in trouble as well, but I knew from lap one I didn’t have the grip underneath me to be able to battle.

Crutchlow believes he could have fought with the works Yamaha pairing without this issue.

Pramac’s Miller was also reticent to go into detail of his tyre issue, but said: “[The tyre] wasn’t really there to begin with, to be honest.

“Already on the first flying lap coming around on the front straight I watched Cal and Morbidelli pour smoke off their rear tyre and just pulled out this massive gap, and I was like ‘holy shit, what am I doing wrong here?’

“I was trying everything which way and the other just to get traction through there, but I wasn’t able to do it.”

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