Yamaha Press Release: Q&A With Valentino Rossi After His Crash At Aragon

The Movistar Yamaha team issued the following press release, containing a brief interview with Valentino Rossi. In it, Rossi speaks about his crash, the limited after-effects he felt, and looks forward to the upcoming flyaway races at Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang:

Q&A with Valentino Rossi following his crash in the opening laps of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon

Motorland Aragon (Spain), 29th September 2014

This morning Valentino Rossi woke up at 09.30 and underwent a new medical check with Dr. Michele Zasa from Clinica Mobile.

After the check Valentino returned to the garage where Movistar Yamaha MotoGP members and teammate Jorge Lorenzo were shooting a TV commercial for Movistar.

The following questions were put to Valentino as he missed yesterday’s post-race media debrief and TV interviews.

Q: Valentino, how are you today?

VR: “I’m fine, everything is ok, and this is the most important thing. I did not injure myself too much except for a big bump to the head. Last night I had a little headache but today I'm fine, I'm 100%. It was a real shame because before the race we made a change that would have helped me a lot; the bike was strong, I was going well, I had recovered the gap in the first few laps and I was there with the leading riders. I felt good and I am sure I could have made a good race, so it was a real shame to fall. In a way I'm almost glad because even though we had a difficult weekend on Sunday we were competitive and this was supposed to be a track that is not very good for us.”

Q: Have you watched the race? What can you say about your crash and about your rivals’ race?

VR: “Unfortunately, like Iannone I went onto the artificial grass. This is always very dangerous and especially in these cases because the track was still wet from the morning shower and there was nothing to be done. Marc and Dani tried to stay on track on the slick tyres but they took a big risk and in fact they crashed. In my case, if I had gone off track one meter before, I would have just gone wide, instead I touched the grass and I fell.”

Q: We have a triple back-to-back ahead of us in Asia and Australia. How do you see the coming races?

VR: “Now there are three races in a row, three races that are all beautiful and I know all tracks very well. I like all of them a lot. I will try to do my best as we have done in the last races.”

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In watching the first few laps, vale looked VERY strong indeed. He had closed right up on Jorge and Dani. When he and Ianonne crashed out, it was very deflating at the time, but the race turned out very exciting. I wish he would have explained exactly why he crashed because it seemed very strange for him to carried that much more speed than dani at that part of the track....but he probably doesn't remember!

Seems to be playing a roll in a lot of crashes. I'm surprised to see it on tracks that motorcycles race on, given the transition it creates from very high grip asphalt to nearly no grip synthetic grass . Dorna needs to consider removing it so fewer riders hit the deck.

First off like everyone else, I'm glade Vale is okay.

Yes, Astroturf in the wet is just as bad or worse than a painted curb in the wet. I personally haven't ridden on any tracks with Astroturf, but it's hard to believe that there isn't a better solution out there.

It really is too bad that there aren't more circuits that have asphalt run off areas. Curb to a meter of grass to gravel trap may be safe, but it's still less desirable than curb to asphalt. The flip side is if the rider has already lost the front/rear or been spit off before the curb. Sure it's only one bump, but one bump under gravel to end Wayne Rainey's career.

All of the runoff solutions involve trade-offs and the only one that doesn't carry additional expense is to do nothing which is not an option.

Artificial grass is terrible stuff to ride on, like something is buckling under your tyres. In the wet it is usually even slippier than real grass. I can understand they use it in Qatar, because real grass will not survive and they need something to trap the sand that's blowing over from the desert. But why we even have it here in Assen and other green areas is beyond me. Maybe it's tougher than real grass, but we have seen several times how the sheets of Astroturf (I only just found out that is an American brand, not a type of material...) get caught by footpegs, handlebars or whatever and that they ripple loose. Stefan Bradl is probably not a fan, I would guess.

More tarmac is not the solution either, in my opinion. Already we have seen race tracks transforming in vast areas of tarmac with the track just being indicated by paint or perfectly ridable 'kerbstones'. Result: riders going off track everywhere and frequently, because it won't hurt their lap much anyway. They take more risks with overtaking too, knowing that they can mess it up and still not lose much time. So we also have many riders re-entering the track at full speed, sometimes getting out of shape when they cross the Astroturf again. Casey Stoner did not like all that tarmac run-off either, precisely because of all this.

At the Formula One GP at Silverstone there was a massive accident because Raikkonen (I think) went wide, ran off track and kept going full speed on the huge run-off area, only to crash heavily when he re-entered the track with about 240 km/h, taking out several other cars as well.

The idea of the racing game (I thought) is to go as fast as you can while staying on track. Racing motorcycles will never be 100% safe, as long as we want to go fast, that is. Some of the drastic safety measures taken the last ten years even seem counter-productive to me. And they make the tracks ugly as hell.

Of course at Aragon in that corner, Rossi would have liked a bit more tarmac. But I have a feeling that they would still be using all that and a bit more then. (By the way, to me it seemed that Pedrosa was a bit slow there all of a sudden.)

...can there be for synthetic grass, which is really just tiny strips of nylon on top of concrete? Does anyone really see it and think, "Oh, there's some grass. How pretty it is right next to all that asphalt."? It can't have any aesthetic value except to the blind. And it's slippery as hell even when it's dry.

What is synthetic grass doing bordering a racetrack, especially at places where machines pushed a ways past their limits are going to end up?

....Is that (particularly in the smaller classes) riders know they have very little consequences for breaking too late or carrying too much corner speed that they take unnecessary risks. I'm not pro astro turf but ensuring that a rider will know that pushing too hard will result in a time penalty by running of into gravel (instead of just resuming the race at the designated spot) does in-of-itself provide a safety mechanism.

As for Wayne Rainey....no one knows with 100% certainty what may have prevent his particular injury (Was it the initial impact? Was it rolling torque? Was it bouncing on the gravel? etc etc). Part of what makes the sport amazing to watch is seeing athletes push to the limit tempt fate and walk away to do it again the following week. Its impossible to provide 100% safety at their levels.

If you look at that crash, you quickly realize that a number of things had to happen in order for that wreck to take place.

Rossi had incredible momentum coming off of the previous left-hander and I think his intension was to follow Jorge through that outside line. Pedrosa, for some strange reason swung that turn very wide, and he and Vale arrived at the same piece of track, causing Vale to push out even wider and well, the rest is history. Pedrosa in fact took that line through that turn only once during the entire race. Was there intent there? No, I do not think so. But he HAD to hear Rossi's engine coming up from behind his left. You would not normally take such a wide arc through that turn. Perhaps he was trying for a later apex and inside exit and was so focused on that he just didn't sense Rossi coming. It was just strange. I am extremely happy that Vale is OK. A few guys hobbled away from that venue yesterday with some bumps and bruises. Beastly for the riders, but from a fan's point of view, one of the more mind-blowing races I have seen!

You're kidding right? Rossi made a mistake, he was never going to make that corner even if Pedrosa wasn't there. He just braked too late, easy as that. Why does there need to be another explanation?

if you replay it, you have to wonder why Pedrosa was going so slowly. Just before they entered the corner, Marquez and Lorenzo had done their thing there at about the same speed as Rossi.

I didn't go back and see how Pedrosa negotiated the corner on other laps. That's an interesting idea. Something to do between races. Like posting comments on MotoGP.com.

As for why there needs to be an explanation, well, because Rossi doesn't overshoot corners. Some of us are predisposed see things and wonder "why?" under normal circumstances. Abnormal circumstances are like mental circuses for us.

I thought it was a terrible Rossi error at first, it looked to me like he was in too much of a hurry, he did shoot out of the previous turn faster than the others. I couldn't believe what I'd seen.

Then on 2nd or 3rd look, yes Pedro was very wide and Rossi wasn't expecting that. But hey, racing incident. If it hadn't been wet off the track he'd have rejoined.

These guys don't tend to make silly errors, especially a wily experienced rider like Rossi. Most important though, he wasn't badly hurt, when he didn't get up it was a bad few minutes especially the stretchering off.

The result was a lottery but excellent ride by Jorge.

Since when does one get to sleep in at a hospital till 9:30 ?

it looks to me that Pedrosa did something a little bit unpredictable while Vale was trusting he would take the "normal" line, I don't think that was a blunt "mistake" by Vale, he found something he wasn't expecting in the space he intended to fit