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Rossi reticent about Melandri collision

Rossi reticent about Melandri collision

Rossi reticent about Melandri collision

Gauloises Yamaha´s Valentino Rossi suffered a rare fall in the Grand Prix of Japan after a coming together with compatriot Marco Melandri. Starting from eleventh on the grid, the world champion had passed seven riders by the fourth lap to be back in contention. But seven laps later he collided with Melandri as they pitched into the notorious turn ten and ended up gravel, leaving Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi clear at the front.

We knew this would be a difficult race but the mechanics worked hard to improve the bike this morning in the warm-up and it worked well over the first few laps, explained Rossi. I was able to pass a lot of people, but I started to have a few problems with the front tyre when I got behind the front three.

I knew it would be a risk to try and overtake and I expected Loris to pass Max in the final few laps. I knew I could be World Champion with fourth place and so I decided to just wait and ride my own my race. Then Marco made a small mistake and suddenly I was right behind him. It was the first time I had followed him into turn ten and we took completely different lines. He went to the outside of the track to cut across and get good acceleration out of the corner but I went to the inside to run wider on the exit.

For the first 50m of braking we were at exactly the same speed so there was no warning, but he was able to stop the bike much harder than me and I couldnt avoid him. You cant see it very well on the television but I wasnt even trying to pass him, it was just one of those things. I apologised to Marco and he said it happens´. Now I am very concerned for him and I just hope he is ok.

Gauloises Yamaha team director Davide Brivio added: Our first concern is for Marco Melandri. We are not sure of his injuries just yet but we hope it is not serious and I wish him well on behalf of the whole team. There was a protest against Valentino put forward by Honda on behalf of all its MotoGP Teams, but Race Direction has judged this unfounded. As far as the championship is concerned, it is a pity we couldnt finish it off here and for Valentino it is a shame that his run of podiums has been interrupted. All we can do is try to make up for it by taking the points back next time.

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Marco Melandri, Valentino Rossi

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