‘Valentino overreached himself’
Valentino Rossi did something during Sunday’s race that’s both very rare for him and that he didn’t need to do – he made a mistake. And while he put his hands up after the race and admitted that it had been a mistake that caused him to crash out of the race, perhaps the biggest error was taking the fight to Maverick Viñales in the first place.
It’s been a slow start to the season for Rossi despite leading the championship going into Le Mans, with only a handful of podium finishes and no wins so far, his championship campaign has still been missing a trip to the top step of the podium – and the 25 valuable points that come with it.
However, by taking a risk in the closing corners of Sunday’s race in an attempt to set up a desperate do-or-die move on Viñales into the last two corners of the Le Mans circuit, Rossi overreached himself, crashing out. It’s a move that may prove to have a critical impact on the title come the end of the season.
Taking with it not only another podium finish but also the 20 points he could have grabbed for second, Rossi now drops to third in the championship, 23 points off his team-mate. Given that his title assault has been built on consistency not outright speed, this error could prove costly.
‘It’s a move that could have a critical impact’ SIMON PATTERSON
From hero to zero on the last lap