Valentino Rossi admits he faces a tough task to get the best from the newly announced Ducati GP11.1 having not yet ridden the version of the bike being introduced at the Assen TT.
The Italian manufacturer has caused a stir by unveiling the GP11.1, which is being considered an early race debut for next year's GP12 chassis, albeit with the 800cc engine.
An attempt by Ducati to get a headstart on the opposition in the development race for 2012, though Rossi has ridden both the GP11 and GP12 this year, the GP11.1 will be foreign to him when action begins this weekend.
Nonetheless, while he is aware it will be difficult to get up to speed during the confines of a race weekend, he is motivated by the challenge.
“Assen is one of my tracks - one of those that I like most and where I've had some nice races in all the classes. We'll try to take advantage of that good feeling and of our experience at this circuit because Thursday morning we'll debut some updates to my bike that are very promising but also very fresh.
“Filippo [Preziosi], the guys at Ducati and the Test Team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven't had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we'll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we'll have to focus on two jobs: making basic adjustments to the new technical parts, and finding a general setup for the race on Saturday.
“We'll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we're happy and motivated by the work we're doing.”