Rossi 'lucky' to escape injury in crash
14 October 2017 – Yamaha's Valentino Rossi says he was "lucky" to avoid injury after crashing during the fourth practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rossi is still returning to full fitness after sustaining leg fractures at the end of August, and slid off his YZR-M1 through Turn 8 in wet conditions at Motegi.
Rossi went on to qualify as the slowest of the 12 Q2 participants, having gambled on slick tyres for the opening half of the session, but expressed relief at avoiding injury.
"The crash in FP4 was quite big, but I was lucky," said Rossi.
"No problems, just a little bit with the finger, but the important thing is that the leg is okay."
On his performance, Rossi said: "This morning we started well, because with the full wet session, like yesterday, we improved the setting of the bike a lot.
"I was quite fast and it was good, but unfortunately with less water on the track we suffered a lot.
"Also for this reason we risked using the slicks, because the track was becoming drier. We were hoping it would dry quickly, but unfortunately it was still too wet.
"We have to wait to see what the conditions will be like tomorrow.
"With more water on track we can be quite strong, with less water we're struggling."
Maverick Viñales, meanwhile, lacked pace in wet conditions and struggled to 14th place on the grid, equalling his worst qualifying result in the premier class.
"I had the same problem today as I had all year in the wet: I had a lot of spin and couldn't ride the bike the way I wanted to in these conditions," rued Viñales.
"We know where we're losing time, but it's difficult to fix it in just one weekend."