Well it had to happen. After 230 consecutive GPs, Valentino Rossi is finally going to miss one. Actually, he’s probably going to miss a few. He crashed in the 120mph Biondetti chicane this morning, probably because of a cold tyre. He’d done a flying lap already but had cruised for about a kilometer to find some track space, ten seconds slower through the third sector than the previous lap, the got hard on the gas coming out of the Correntaio righthander. Biondetti is the next corner.
That Rossi should crash like this shows just how hard he’s been pressing all weekend. It is not beyond the pale to suggest that this is a result of the pressure Rossi has been under from his team mate.
Back at the Italian GP at a strangely subdued Mugello, Dani Pedrosa pulled a stunning lap from nowhere to take pole from Lorezo and Stoner. The only one of the three who seemed happy was Lorenzo—he obviously has the race pace whereas Dani doesn’t know how the Honda will go over race distance and Casey is adamant that he is only on the front row because “I made one of the best qualifying laps ever, race pace-wise we’re way off.” Nicky Hayden in fourth isn’t much more cheerful but does say that he’s improved his set up a bit. Riding the bumps is still his problem.
Other people with a problem are the organizers of the next few GPs. Anyone want to bet on tomorrow’s crowd figure?