Valentino Rossi hasn’t won a race since he joined Ducati’s MotoGP factory team 2 years ago and is unlikely to break that drought when he swings a leg over the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 for the final time next weekend in Valencia for the final MotoGP of 2012.
Following yet another mid pack finish at the penultimate round in Australia, Rossi spoke to the press about his endless frustration concerning the team’s inability to close the gap to the front. When you consider how far behind the race winner he usually finishes it is amazing that he has secured two podiums this year on a motorcycle that is no more competitive today than it was 2 years ago.
Casey Stoner won the Phillip Island race making himself the indisputable King of Phillip Island with 6 successive victories. Vale had won the event 5 times in succession earlier in his career. In addition to his dominance at his home track, Casey was the only rider to take a MotoGP title on the Ducati something even Rossi still marvels at.
“Casey was the only one rider who could be fast with the Ducati,” Rossi told reporters. “All the other guys that tried have destroyed, not his career but his mind… So congratulations to Casey. But two years ago, I still don’t understand why there is this difference between Stoner and the other Ducati riders, and after two years that I ride the Ducati I still don’t understand.”
There was immense excitement when Rossi joined Ducati that was blunted almost immediately when Rossi looked awkward and lapped slowly during his first ever ride 2 years ago. Fresh from finishing on the podium on the Yamaha M1, he ended his first day testing the Ducati almost 2 seconds slower than Jorge Lorenzo managed on the Yamaha.
Right from the beginning Rossi believed he knew what was wrong with the Ducati and has been frustrated that over the subsequent 2 years, despite numerous frame and engine spec revisions, the problem remains unsolved.
“The bigger frustration, apart from the bad results and the bad feeling, is that more or less we have the same problem with this bike after two years that we had in Valencia in 2010. And sometimes you have the feeling that you waste your time.”
Rossi is already counting the hours till he gets the chance to ride the Yamaha M1 once again. That time will come during the official test that follows this weekend’s Valencia MotoGP. 2 years ago all eyes were on Valentino Rossi to see how fast he could ride a different motorcycle. Next week all eyes will be on him once again for exactly the same reason.
“I’m not sure if I’m able to stay at the same level as Lorenzo and Pedrosa, and fight for win races and for win championships, you know? Sincerely, I don’t know, so I have to try the bike before. But we have two years, and if we want to try, the test in Valencia will be very important to understand…”
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