Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi's dramatic decline in the COTA MotoGP race was due to his front Bridgestone tire's performance. Rossi lapped with the race leaders early in the contest but then slowly drifted back until he was 45 seconds behind them at the checkered flag.
"The front tire was destroyed in seven or eight laps," said the Italian. "Then the lap time dropped off and ..."
"With Jorge's mistake in the start I was quite "quiet" in the start but I had good pace. I was waiting to arrive in the third position but after seven or eight laps we destroyed the front tire on the right and unfortunately I had to slow down very much."
Rossi said he chose the hard front Bridgestone, not the extra-hard front, and that perhaps, in retrospect, was a poor choice.
"Maybe we needed the extra hard," he said. "But Yamaha have a problem on the extra hard, so we have to improve, we have to understand why."
"It's a shame because we lose some point for the championship," he said.
Moreover, Rossi was momentarily discombobulated by teammate Lorenzo's absolutely bizarre start--the former champion left the grid while the lights were still red.
"I lose the moment," Rossi recounted.
Rossi said he panicked and then lost his concentration and then even he flubbed the start. Rossi over-compensated as the bike launched on a dirty part of the track and the rear tire spun.
"I said .. faak, what's up ...ah-ah-ah ...then the light went green and I spun on the dirty part of the track and I make a sh*t start," he said.
Rossi said that while he wasn't able to do a full race simulation with his race set up in practice, he did do "eleven or twelve laps and it was okay" and that he did so with a full fuel load.