In a post-race interview, Rossi says that he was competitive before the engine failure.
Unfortunately on lap six, the bike start to have a problem and the clutch didn’t open, maybe because the engine already start to seize a little bit. It is for that reason that I go wide. But in seven-eight corners I was already back on Lorenzo, because I was a little bit faster, but after the engine broke. It’s a great shame, because it’s always a pity when you have a problem with the bike in the race, but here even more so because it was in Mugello in front of all the crowd. I was very competitive in the race and very fast, I had a good start and I was there. I think I could have fought for the victory because I had a very good feeling and a strong pace. It’s also a great shame because this zero points score for the championship weighs very heavily. Lorenzo and Marquez finished first and second, so now the distance is hard, but it’s like this. But I think this weekend I did my job at the maximum. I ride well, I was always concentrating and I arrived ready for fight for the victory in the race. In English they say ‘shit happens’! This is today. It is like this, but is very important to be strong and try to take from this bad moment extra energy for the next race in Barcelona.