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Poll: Can the Rossi/Ducati partnership work?

Can the Valentino Rossi/Ducati partnership be made to work or will need to switch manufacturers to claim an 80th MotoGP win...
If ever Valentino Rossi needed a strong performance, it's this weekend at round two of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at Jerez in Spain.

Having gone public with criticism of Ducati after struggling to tenth place from twelfth on the grid (and last of the manufacturer bikes) in the Qatar season-opener, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive about a possible divorce.

Rossi's contract, like those of all the leading MotoGP riders, expires at the end of this year and both rider and team have since played down the radical suggestion that he could quit early.

Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati president and CEO, referred to Rossi's comments as 'letting off steam'.

But there's no doubt that the seven time MotoGP champion, seventh overall with one podium during his debut season at Ducati, needs to see tangible progress with the Desmosedici project sooner rather than later.

Fun has always been a key racing ingredient for Rossi and losing week-in, week-out on a bike that doesn't seem to respond to his changes isn't much fun.

Ducati can point to a constant stream of modifications, based on Rossi's feedback, since the start of 2011 as proof of their determination to return The Doctor to the top. The fact that Rossi was beaten by other Ducati riders at Qatar also complicates the situation.

When Ducati was regularly winning, with Loris Capirossi (990cc) and then Casey Stoner (800cc), it was the differences in its motorcycle design that were hailed as the key to its success (tyres, engine, frame).

The same view is now working in reverse, with the Desmosedici's main features being compared with those of its Japanese competitors, and the differences branded as faults.

As such, it is Ducati's wide 90-degree V between its cylinders that is increasingly cited as causing the understeer and lack of front-end feel that Rossi has experienced ever since his Valencia 2010 test debut.

Tagged as: Ducati , Valentino Rossi , Jerez , Qatar

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mick - Unregistered

April 23, 2012 11:54 AM

Yes,Rossi and Ducati can work. He just needs to ride it like Stoner did.After all,he is the GOAT isnt he? And someone with that title should be able to at least get the bike to the podium.Stoner did and we are constantly being told that Stoner is not in Rossis league! Time to start proving it me thinks!


April 23, 2012 12:05 PM

Well it seems Dr Thompson that you have selective memory. No, Casey didnt ride straight into the gravel. Considering Stoner won more races than anyone at his time at Ducati and Rossi on the Duc only sees the podium when he passes by it going down pit lane, yeah, Casey was capable on anything on the Duc compared to Rossi.

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