Rossi: Sometimes Racing the Ducati was a Waste of Time

Rossi and Ducati

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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17 Responses to “Rossi: Sometimes Racing the Ducati was a Waste of Time”

  1. Burgess and Rosi seem to have tried to turn the Ducati into an M1, which clearly it is not.
    Perhaps that is why they did not succeed. And Stoner won whilst the Ducati had a steel trellis frame not the carbon job he asked for going into the 2008 season. The steel trellis frame was inconsistent between bikes and not stiff enough, Stoner commented in 2007.

  2. If he got is bike perfect Stoner is in a league of is own.
    Stoner best rider ever.sorry for Rossi!

  3. I look forward to see how the DUCATI evolves now that it has a twin-spar aluminum chassis thanks to Rossi. It seems that the boys in Bologna have their work cut out for them getting the power to the ground and keeping the rubber side down.

    George Villar

  4. I wonder if ducati will abandon the twin-spar since that hasn’t solved any of their problems and go back to the monocoque chasis.

  5. Rossi has overestimate his own ability and talent.

  6. I never thought I’d say this but luckily we have to endure only one more awkward race with Rossi on the Ducati motogp bike.

    Rarely have I experienced a so-called professional rider whine and complain quite as much as Rossi has been doing for the past two years.

    I really wonder if he will be able to prove his worth on the Yamaha M1. Sometimes I get the impression he is well over the top and I wouldn’t be surprised if his adventures with Yamaha ends in yet another massive disappointment.

    Still – perhaps not very convincingly, though – I wish him the best of luck :-)

  7. One day I hope to see Mr.Casey Stoner showing at this 2 idiots ( rossi & burgess )how a Ducati should be driver.

    Rossi was the biggest waste of time for Ducati

  8. I’d agree, Stoner probably is the quickest rider out there.
    Rossi admitted that while he was riding the Yamaha.

    Had Stoner stayed with Ducati, I don’t think he’d be performing much better than Rossi has. Maybe a place or two but with more mishaps.

    @Marco This does not make Rossi and Burgess idiots.

  9. I love Ducati and have owned 6 of them, but they clearly have no business being in MotoGP as long as they insist on being different just for the sake of being different. MotoGP has a very defined and precise set of regulations that clearly favor one type of chassis over another type, one type of engine over another type, etc.. Ducati will never beat the Honda and Yamaha as they insist on developing things like the carbon chassis, the half chassis, things like that. Finally at Rossi’s insistence they used a simple aluminum chassis but now they are years away from Honda and Yamaha are with there chassis designs.. Ducati should stick to WSBK and let the big Japanese factories make the type of investment that is needed to win in MotoGP.. Really I think they are just wasting their time in MotoGP.

  10. Read an excellent article a while ago about the Ducati.
    After Casey Stoner asked for a new shoirt carbon chassis in 08, results have gone south since then. The type of feedback provided by carbon is alien, the ability to tune the bike different, and the length of the frame reduces the ability to move the componentry about. All Rossi has done is to put aluminium back and lengthen the frame marginally. So to that end the person who bested the Ducati also saw to its demise. Coupled with a lack of control over tyre dev’t.
    According to the article and I tend to agree, there is really not to much wrong with the steel trellis frame. It can be inconsistent as Stoner whinged about but the rider can feel it and adjust. The real issue is the angle of the pistons. Ducati stuck with an L2 because that is what they do and developing new engines is really expensive. The solution was to bolt 2 L2’s togther as the3y said. But at 90 degrees you cannot move it about. Hence the lack of feel and weight over the front wheel. Reduce it to 75, 70 or 60 (like anyone else in MOTOGP has done) and you solve a significant issue. Using it as a stressed member can also restrict adjustment. Steel trellis allows load of flex tuning by using different scaffolding and adjustment, 70 degree engine and that would go a long way to solve the issues. Trying to make it into an M1 is not, clearly.
    I hope Rossi bounces right back, because there are only 2 characters in motorsport currently, him and Raikkenon. But I think he will have his work cut out.

  11. I agree that Rossi is a character and he adds both colour and flavour to the motogp circus. No doubt about it.

    That is why I was very excited and full of expectations when he joined the Ducati team.

    However, it soon became apparent to me that Rossi’s added colour is a pleasant spice that goes very well with decent results but it is of little significance when he fails to deliver the podium results expected of him. Come to think of it, it is nothing but sad when Rossi continues to linger away in 9th place during an average race.

    As for the modifications made to the chassis I don’t doubt your input, Smiler, but I find it odd to think Ducati Corse with all their accumulated experience, sophisticated CAD software and material property knowledge/calculations would be caught completely off-guard with respect to altered bike behaviour when making changes to the chassis, as per Stoner’s and Rossi’s requests…

    Wouldn’t you think Ducati Corse would be able to foresee at least most of the implications of shortening the frame/chassis, using the engine as a stressed member or swapping the steel trellis frame for a carbon fibre “headstock”?

    Obvisouly, I don’t know the answers to my own questions and the poor performance of the current Ducati motogp bike may indicate the opposite of my assumptions above but I can’t help but being baffled by the whole situation.

  12. I don’t think Rossi has lost anything as a rider and will do well next year, but he and Burgess certainly underestimated the development required of the Ducati. I would agree w 1198 and smiler that there are inherent issues which have been around a long time and Ducati doesn’t have the funding of a Honda or Yamaha to address them. It will be interesting to see what Audi decides to do with Ducati’s MotoGP program.

  13. Molasses – from what I understand, Stoner was getting fed up with the apparent inconsistency between what should be the same bike. And the amount of flex. Ducati only really have expereience with scaffolding poles. So they went to Ferrari and boing carbon frame. Rossi pointed out that the feedback you get from carbon is completely different. So immediately Ducati and the rider are in unknown territory. Going to Ferrari at the time, likey seemed logical. Clearly Stoner did not get on with it 4ht and 4ht, jumps ship. It did not help that B’stone brought in a harder control tyre in 08 as well.
    So I reckon and so apparently do a number of other people much more informed than me that Ducati need and should dump the 90 degree engine and make a more compact one. Problem has always been that Ducati have needed to trickle tech through the range. With Audi this should not longer be an issue. So they can build a proper prototype, not a bike that really started life as a WSB + bike.
    I reckon steel trellis or larger aluminium frame built in house, 65 – 70d degree engine and that would go a long way to sorting the bike. IMHO.

  14. Has every one forgotten Troy Balies? With very little practice, at Valencia he was sensaional on his first race on the GP Ducati. What a shame he did not race it for a full season.

    Barry Mead

  15. @Barry

    No they haven’t forgotten. Troy didn’t do so well in 2003 and 2004 though then he had two full seasons on the factory Desmosedici


  17. I would love to see Casey race this last race in Valencia on VR’s GP12 and finish on the podium LOL!!! That would truely drive Flossi nuts and send his confidence in the gutter!!!