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Rossi 13th in disrupted MotoGP race at Spielberg

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi took 13th after a red flag interrupted StyrianGP, whilst Cal Crutchlow came home 17th in his first race for the team – deputising for Franco Morbidelli. 

Rossi had a poor first start but held his 17th position off the line when racing resumed following the red flag period, caused by a Turn 3 incident. After losing then regaining two positions, Valentino continued to make progress to move into 14th on lap 19 then took a further position to end the StyrianGP 13th. He now has 20 championship points and sits 19th in the riders’ standings.

Crutchlow experienced issues with his start both times that the lights went out, however in his first race since the end of last season, the Brit was able to improve his pace throughout the first half of the race and continue to set personal best sector times throughout the 27 laps. At the end of his debut race for the Malaysian squad, Cal had moved himself into 17th position. There will be no rest for Rossi and Crutchlow, with the Grand Prix von Österreich getting underway in only a few days’ time (13-15 August).

Razlan Razali
Team Principal
The MotoGP race weekend began with the announcement of Valentino Rossi’s retirement so we consider it to be a great honour to have him in our team in what will be his final year. We wish him all the best and we will support him all we can for these final races. We just want him to have fun and to celebrate his career in this second half of the season. He had a decent opening few laps and he had good pace, finishing 13th which was positive today. We didn’t set any specific race targets for Cal and he did a good job to finish 17th, especially having had time away from riding.

The Moto2 race this weekend was positive for us, with Xavi finishing in the top-ten and Jake making a massive step up from his previous races. To finish 11th was very positive and we look forward to seeing what he can do here next weekend.

We took a gamble in Moto3 by putting Darryn and John on slick tyres, with the expectation that the track would dry out quicker than it did. This approach worked well for Darryn, who did a superb job in finishing sixth, but John wasn’t able to make the same progress and finished 13th. To score points with all our Moto2 and Moto3 riders today was great and we hope to continue in the same way for the rest of the year.
Valentino Rossi
13th (+26.282)
It hasn’t been a bad day today because we managed to score some points after starting from 17th. In both starts I lost positions at the beginning. I felt good after the first start; I might have been behind the other riders but I had a good rhythm. Then after the second start we suffered with the rear grip a little bit more than in the first. In the end the race wasn’t too bad, I didn’t make any mistakes, my pace was good and we finished in the Top15. I was able to fight with those around me for position and I think we had a similar pace to what we had yesterday. For sure I want to do better, but today was not bad. We have some things to work on to try to be stronger next week.
Cal Crutchlow
17th (+40.408)
It was good to be back racing again. Physically I felt quite good and I’m happy to finish the race. I had an issue at the first start, which then affected my opening laps and I lost an important gap. Then on the re-start, we fixed the previous issue and I got into a good rhythm, so I’m happy with my race. I had a problem with the rear traction but it was good to complete the race distance. I’ve been able to gather some data for us to look through and the rear grip issue is something for us to try to understand. It was enjoyable to be back out there and I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.
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