Valentino Rossi has reacted to the “disaster” post-race for his VR46 Moto2 and Moto3 riders in the Andalusian Grand Prix, which included an embarrassing collision and a prosecco-related podium injury.
Seven-time MotoGP world champion Rossi’s VR46 Academy enjoyed a strong Andalusian GP weekend, with Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini and team-mate Marco Bezzecchi finishing second and third in the Moto2 race.
In Moto3, VR46’s Celestino Vietti carved his way to third to secure his first podium of the campaign.
However, the post-race for all three proved disastrous, with Vietti requiring stitches in his hand when he broke the prosecco bottle on the podium.
And on the cooldown lap after the Moto2 race, Marini and Bezzecchi collided between Turns 1 and 2 as they attempted to shake hands – though both were uninjured.
When asked about the incident in Moto2, Rossi said: “When I see my two bikes, the two bikes of my team, on gravel after the flag I say ‘this cannot be true’.
“I directly understood that to [shake] the hands, they touch the handlebar together and they both crashed.
“And we were so worried because also Celestino had an injury on the podium because he broke the bottle and he had stitches in his hand.
“He make like this [gestures hitting bottle off the ground] the champagne for it to explode and broke the bottle and he had a cut in the hand.
“[It needed] I don’t know, five or six stitch points.
“It’s a disaster. It’s a disaster. After, in the parc ferme, I say to my brother and to Bez, ‘keep attention on the podium now, don’t make another disaster, it’s enough’.”
Pramac’s Francesco Bagnaia and Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli almost ensured VR46 Academy riders would make the podium in all three races, before technical issues late on in the MotoGP contest took both of them out.
Rossi says he was “proud” of the VR46 Academy’s efforts over the Andalusia GP weekend, while also noting they helped him through his own “frustrating” times in MotoGP of late.
“I am very proud of my guys, of our riders from the Academy because we are very close, we have a great relationship,” he added.
“Together we did a very good job, we arrived at the beginning of the season ready and they help me a lot when I was frustrated from the bad results.
“They never gave up, they always pushed me, and [being around] young guys make me [feel] more young.
“These two races, especially today, is a great moment for the Sky [VR46] team, because Marini, Bez, Vietti are on the podium, but also Franco and Pecco could have been on the podium without the problems.”