Bad bike performance blamed for his disappointing 2019 German GP result

The German Grand Prix didn't go well for Valentino “The Doctor” Rossi as he struggled throughout the race and finished 8th while his teammate Maverick Vinales scored a well-deserved second place at Sachsenring. 

“This year, it‘s been a lot more difficult, so we need to get a better understanding because I don‘t have a great feeling with the bike and I‘m not as fast as we want,” said Rossi after a disappointing performance at the German GP. The last time The Doctor won a race was at the Netherlands back in 2017, and this makes Rossi winless for 2 straight years

Is it time for The Doctor to retire? image

The second oldest racer in MotoGP is 7 years younger than Rossi, but he says that age is not the issue here.

“Last year I was on the podium four times in five races and I was already old, already 39. There's something else that's not right. I can't get on with the bike as it is," lamented Rossi from over the current settings of his Yamaha M1 bike.

"I don't exactly [know] what isn't working, I don't know the cause but I'm unable to exit the turns as I want. This year on the M1, we need to use a totally different setup compared to 2018 and [Franco] Morbidelli and I find it harder to do that, while Vinales and Quartararo are getting on better. I can't ride the Yamaha as I did last year."

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director, Massimo Meregalli told press that degradation of the race tires that Rossi used didn't have the consistency that they had been expecting, eventually having Rossi unable to attack at the end of the race.

“We already predicted yesterday that managing the rear tire would be key in today‘s race and that was indeed the case. Maverick had shown good pace here all weekend, so we knew the tires were performing well. But managing the degradation over the whole length of the race is challenging, especially when under pressure from a chasing rider, like Mack was today. He did a fantastic job. He was very consistent and precise, so this second place is well-deserved. Vale used the medium rear tire, but it didn't behave like we predicted.” 

“We had expected a better consistency, especially in the second part of the race, but it didn't keep up its performance level. Because of this Vale wasn't able to attack at the end of the race. We now have a three-week break which we will use to recharge before we head to Brno [Czech Republic], where we will have some things that our riders can try during the test,” Meregalli added. 

“There are things that only I can feel and I'll know when I don't want to race anymore. A lot depends on the results. If we can't solve our problems, then continuing might become a problem. But 10 years ago, I made a choice. I could retire as a winner or continue to race because my passion was great. I'm pleased with the decision I made," said Rossi, hinting that while his performances were not as good as it were years ago, his passion for racing still keeps the fire burning and hopefully, not retiring soon.