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Rossi: No conclusive solution yet

"We're working on several fronts, with short-term solutions that haven't been conclusive, and others that are longer-term and that I still hope can bring more substantial improvements" – Valentino Rossi.
After 14 rounds of the 2011 MotoGP season, Valentino Rossi has admitted that he and Ducati are yet to find a conclusive way forward for the Desmosedici project.

Ducati finished first (Casey Stoner) and third (Nicky Hayden) at Aragon last year, but the best Desmosedici (of Hayden) was seventh and 34-seconds from Stoner's victorious Honda in Sunday's race.

Rossi finished tenth after starting the race in pit lane, with a ten-second penalty. That was the result of using a seventh engine this season, made necessary by a series of chassis changes introduced to try and transform the GP11 project.

The latest of those changes, which debuted with Rossi at Aragon, was the switch from carbon fibre to aluminium for the front (airbox) section. But speaking after the race, Rossi sounded far from confident that it will offer the breakthrough in front-end feel.

"We're still not where we should be," said Rossi, who finished in the top six in all but one of the first eight races of this year, but only twice in the six races since.

"We're working on several fronts, with short-term solutions that haven't been conclusive, and others that are longer-term and that I still hope can bring more substantial improvements. We'll see what they think at the factory.

"For now, we're still pretty far, and given that time is our biggest enemy, we'll continue also working on development during the races.”

The 'longer-term' solutions are rumoured to involve making the Ducati more like the Japanese MotoGP bikes Rossi and his mechanics are so familiar with, by using a full twin-spar aluminium frame, with the engine carried inside rather than as a 'stressed member'.

"We work together with Ducati and we try, but at this moment we don't fix a lot," Rossi told MotoGP.com.

The rate of development at Ducati is also arguably confusing matters, with three different tyres of bike now on the MotoGP grid. The satellite Ducati riders are still using the original GP11, Hayden the modified GP11.1 (also all carbon fibre) while Rossi has now switched to the 'aluminium' bike.

"Nicky and his team are also trying extremely hard to gather as much information as possible on his GP11.1 which, despite not having the updated front chassis part like Valentino's, is still a new bike with a lot of margin for improvement with regards to its setup," said team manager Vittoriano Guareschi.

Rossi and Hayden are sixth and seventh in the world championship with four rounds to go. Each has taken one podium - Hayden at round two, Rossi at round four.



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SHEENE7

September 18, 2011 10:10 PM
Last Edited 1905 days ago

"Who cares about this has-been".Posted by Richard James A has-been ? Are you sure ? Rossi finished 3rd in the championship last year even though he missed several races due to a serious leg break and came back and still got several podiums and a race win.You don't forget how to ride like that in less than a year especially if you're the rider that has re-written the history books several times during your career.I admit,the more Rossi struggles with this bike the more respect I have for Stoner but he also struggled a great deal with that Ducati and rode around a lot of problems.He won the title on it first time out but couldn't do it again which was the start of the current problems.How many times did he crash the thing due to front end problems in the years after he won the title ? Seems to me Ducati need to design a hole new bike from scratch if they want to win a championship again.

hoppy

September 18, 2011 11:06 PM

In my opinion the reason Ducati are struggling this year is simply because they relied too much on Caseys ability to ride around the bikes imperfections for the 4 years he was there.Now they have a rider who is not prepared to push the bike to its absolute limits,and the problems have been truly exposed.Thats not an insult to Val but more of a complement to Casey.They simply took Casey for granted and expected Val to ride the bike the same way,but he didnt.Now the bikes short comings have been exposed and they are at a loss to find the answers to put it right.Dont get me wrong,i am not saying the bike was a total pig,Casey got 23 victories on it,but it is a bike that needs to be thrashed to get results and only Casey was prepared to thrash it accordingly!I can only hope that they get it back on track for next season or Val will be marching out the door.



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