Valentino Rossi believes his early change to dry tyres in the French Grand Prix would have paid off had he not crashed.
The world champion failed to score after sliding off his Yamaha on his first lap on slicks on the still-damp Le Mans track. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo stayed out much longer and went on to win the race, although Dani Pedrosa - who stopped on the same lap as Rossi - managed to take third.
"We started the race without having done a single lap in the wet," Rossi told Italia1
. "By the fourth lap I was having some difficulties already, especially in the right turns the bike was sliding a lot, so I decided to pit.
"In my opinion it was not a wrong decision, but the problem was that I made a mistake and crashed. Certainly it would have been better to pit two laps later, because at the point where I crashed and in two other points there was still a bit too much water. I got there slowly, but obviously not enough."
He admitted that he had been trying to gamble to beat his rivals on strategy. because it was clear that other riders were faster in the race.
"Absolutely. I was struggling a bit in the wet," said Rossi. "I started well and was second already, but I wasn't feeling good, Lorenzo was opening the gap, and [Andrea] Dovizioso and [Marco] Melandri behind me were edging closer, so I thought it was better to pit immediately and be ready with the slicks.
"It wasn't a wrong idea, because in the same conditions at Motegi [in 2007 Loris] Capirossi managed to win after pitting so early. The problem was that I made a mistake: I lost the front and there was nothing I could do about it.
"I tried to carry on in the hope of getting a lonely point in such a hard-fought championship, and also to get the anger out. But no one retired ahead of us, so this is the first zero for us this season. It's a shame, so we start over at Mugello."
Rossi said the whole Le Mans weekend had been one to forget.
"It went more or less bad all weekend because we've had many problems, and we've never been as competitive as we wanted to," he said.
"We've made some mistakes in the bike's set-up, the weather never gave us a hand, so I was never as strong as we had expected. We must understand why of course."