High hopes for Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards went unfulfilled today as the Fiat Yamaha Team riders, who started from first and second on the grid, were both victims of bad luck at Istanbul Park. The pair got a good start and were leading the pack into turn one before Edwards dropped back as he was unable to get enough heat into his tyre and Rossi made a mistake and ran wide at turn eleven.
Disaster then struck for Edwards as he was hit from behind by another rider and sent tumbling into the gravel trap in a crash that involved four riders in total. Rossi meanwhile seemed to be going well and had fought back to second behind eventual winner Casey Stoner, before he suffered a serious rear tyre problem that forced him to roll off the gas and drop right back through the field. The Italian had to use all his talents to keep himself in the race and he eventually brought his Yamaha home in tenth position, taking what were a creditable six points under the circumstances.
Rossi now drops to second place in the championship standings, ten points behind Stoner and 15 ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who was also involved in the first-lap crash. Edwards’ unlucky non-finish, only the second in his Yamaha career, means he drops down to sixth. The Fiat Yamaha Team have a one-day test planned tomorrow although Edwards will wait until the morning to confirm if he will ride after badly bruising his knee when he was knocked down.

Valentino Rossi
Position: 10thTime: +18.999
“We are very disappointed today because we had high expectations for this race, but instead we had some unexpected problems with the tyre and it’s been a disaster for us. Yesterday and this morning the same race tyre felt good but unfortunately today something happened to it after some laps and I couldn’t fulfil the potential we had here. We don’t know the reason yet for the problem but now Michelin are trying to understand what happened. I had a great start and was leading on the first lap, although I made a mistake at turn eleven when I ran wide and dropped to fifth. However at that stage my bike was working very well and I was able to fight back to second; I felt sure that I was going to have a good battle with Stoner! Sadly though, after ten or eleven laps, the tyre started to lose all grip and I had to slow right down because I was quite scared. It felt like there was a big problem with the tyre and I had to go very carefully just to finish. We were very unlucky today, we started first and second but Colin crashed when he was hit and then I had this problem. I’m also quite unhappy with Elias today because I think he was quite dangerous – more than once he passed me on the inside and then altered his line. This is not a correct way to race. We’re all quite sad tonight but we have many more races so we will look forward now to China.”

Colin Edwards
Position: DNFTime:
“I got a great start but I had some problems getting heat into the rear tyre, which we were expecting at the start anyway. As a result I couldn’t corner so well and I slipped right back on that first lap. Then Valentino ran off the track a bit at the fast right turn and I think everyone was checking up a bit and looking at him instead of thinking about the next corner! It seemed that everyone around me ran a bit wide into turn 12 but I braked normally and went underneath them when Jacque hit me from behind and I went down. I’m not badly hurt but my knee took a bit of a bang and it’s swollen up quite a lot. It’s pretty disappointing because we know my bike was working well and once I got some heat into the tyre it might have been a good race.”

Davide Brivio – Team Director
“A very difficult and disappointing race for us! Colin was very unlucky as he was hit from behind through no fault of his own and there was no way for him to avoid the crash. He has some bad bruising to his knee but we hope it’s nothing too serious. Valentino made a mistake on lap one but he recovered well and it looked like he was set for a good race, but we had some problems with the tyre. We’d chosen the hardest and best tyre that we had available to us but it wasn’t enough to fight with our competitors today. We now have to work with Michelin during tomorrow’s test to understand why this happened and learn from the mistake. It was very hard for Valentino to keep going until the end in this situation but he didn’t give up and took some valuable points; we’re still second in the championship so let’s move on from here and look forward to China.

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