After missing last year's MotoGP return to Silverstone due to a broken leg at the previous Mugello round, Valentino Rossi will be the only rider on the MotoGP grid without prior race experience of the circuit this weekend.
Even 2011 MotoGP rookies Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham have raced on the full grand prix layout - in WSBK and Moto2 respectively - but Rossi's Silverstone experience is restricted to laps on a street bike during last month's opening of the new Pits and Paddock.
“Silverstone is a great track that's difficult and quite fast. I'll start on Friday with a small handicap because unfortunately, I didn't get to race there last year," said Rossi. "I haven't ridden a MotoGP bike there, although I did about twenty laps on an 1198 street bike.
"I'll have to learn the track as quickly and as well as possible, as it's very technical, with several blind spots where taking the right line is very important. Of course we'll also have to work on adjusting the bike.
"Anyway, we're understanding better and better how to approach the setup of the GP11, and Ducati continues working on development. There's still work to be done, but it's clear which areas we have to address and we're all focused and determined to improve.”
Rossi has only taken one podium so far this year, but is poised to collect fourth in the championship from the absent Dani Pedrosa - and is only five points from third-place Andrea Dovizioso.