The Dutch GP was another weekend to forget for Valentino Rossi (Mosnter Energy Yamaha), who started from the 14th spot on the grid in Assen after the bad qualifying session on Saturday and then left the scene in the race because he slipped after only 5 laps, in an accident that also involved the Japanese Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda).
In the morning Warm-Up of MotoGP, the “Doctor” had finally found a setup to his liking for his Yamaha YZR-M1, and this seemed to work properly in the first part of the race, with the Pesaro already climbed to 11th place on lap three.
However, the eagerness to climb up the slope soon betrayed Rossi in an attempt to overtake Nakagami at turn 8, where he came into contact with the Japanese and ended up rolling in the gravel with him. None of the two drivers suffered physical damage, but for both the Dutch race ended bitterly with that episode.
Considering also the previous withdrawals of Mugello and Montmelò, for Rossi it was the third “zero” in a row, a discouraging “negative streak” that certainly can’t please him and that saw him fall to 5th place in the Drivers’ World Championship, with a sidereal gap of 88 points against the leader Marc Marquez (Honda Repsol), yesterday 2nd in Assen behind Rossi Maverick Vinales’s pits mate.
In his analysis of the end of the day, the 9-time Yamaha rider regretted the premature elimination from the race, admitting his responsibility in the collision with Nakagami:
“I was pretty fast today, so I tried to make up a few positions right away. I was in a fight with Nakagami and tried to overtake him at the entrance to turn 8, but I think I got a little too far off the line. I lost the front and unfortunately I also eliminated Nakagami, so it was a shame and I have to say sorry to him.
“It was my mistake, but I’m also sorry because today, after being slow all weekend, we found something that was making me feel good in the race. I felt good with the bike, which makes the disappointment even bigger, but on the other hand it is also important to understand that I suffered too much this weekend and that we have to be stronger.