Late bike swap costs Rossi again

Valentino Rossi has been critical of his judgement as to when to change bikes during a flag-to-flag race after a late switch again resulted in him achieving a poor finish at Brno.

In last year’s flag-to-flag race, Rossi finished eighth at the Sachsenrin after pitting far too late.

This time round in Brno it was a similar case. The only difference being that 12 months ago it was his decision to opt for a lengthier first stint while on the weekend it was his team’s decision.

Nevertheless, Rossi could only finish fourth in Brno – a disappointing result considering how comfortable he is on his bike at the moment. He waited until the fifth lap to change bikes while the race-winner pitted as early as the second lap.

Speaking afterwards, the Italian admitted he and the team had got it wrong again.

“It is not my stronger point, this type of racing, but at the end the result is not so bad,” he said.

“In a full dry or full wet race, I can fight for the podium, but (it) remains a good weekend because we work well, and I feel good with the bike.

“We’ve improved a lot from the other flag-to-flag (races), and I think that before the end of my career we can defeat this flag-to-flag race.

“Understanding the moment to come back (to change bikes) is not my strong point.”

The result leaves Rossi 22 points off the Championship leader Marc Márquez, who won in Brno and so claimed his third victory of the season.