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Moto GP News, Rossi wasn't trying to pass Stoner

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Valentino Rossi says he was not even trying to overtake Casey Stoner when he took the Honda rider out of second in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Rossi had made rapid progress from 11th on the grid on the wet track, but fell when challenging Stoner for second place and knocked the Honda over in the process. The former champion said he had simply outbraked himself and dodged to the inside hoping to miss Stoner.

"When I arrived behind Stoner, I didn't want to overtake him in the moment of braking, but I braked a bit too deep compared to him, and I arrived too fast and I didn't have enough room to go on the outside so I tried to go on the inside to make less problems for both of us but unfortunately I lost the front and I also took him out," said Rossi.

"It's completely my mistake and I have to say sorry to Casey. I know that he's very angry because he didn't make any mistakes. I went straight to say sorry."

When Rossi apologised to Stoner in the Honda pit afterwards, television cameras caught the Australian asking Rossi about the health of his injured shoulder and suggesting his 'ambition outweighed his talent'. Rossi laughed off his rival's comments.

"I don't know, maybe he doesn't know exactly who I am!" Rossi said to Italia1 television. "But it's okay, it's fair enough, he's angry and I would be too. I've made a mistake and for me it was important to apologise. I'm not so interested in what he says."

Although Rossi came back to fifth place after the incident, he was confident he could have won the race had he stayed upright.

"When it was wet I did the fastest lap, so I had a clear chance to win the race," Rossi admitted to reporters.

"At the end the fifth place is a positive result if it was in the dry, but in the wet we were more competitive. We were lucky today with the weather, and the weather gave us a great chance to have the first victory or the first podium with the Ducati. Unfortunately I threw away this chance with a mistake."

He was encouraged that his damaged shoulder - which is still recovering after winter surgery to fix an injury sustained in a motocross crash a year ago - was not an issue in the wet.

"In the wet I could ride at 100 per cent with my shoulder," Rossi said. "I could brake where my eyes said to brake, because the force on the shoulder in the wet is a lot less because the grip of the tyre is less. It's since the beginning of last year that I've not had this feeling. This made me optimistic."

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