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Rossi staying at Ducati

"Leave Ducati? I wouldn't even think of it" - Valentino Rossi.
Struggling MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi has categorically denied that he will walk out on Ducati.

Rossi's two-year Ducati contract expires at the end of 2012, but a nightmare start to the new season prompted Rossi's first public criticism of the factory, including:

"Ducati didn't follow the direction that I indicated, but I'm not an engineer and I can't solve every problem... The problems with the bike haven't changed, and neither have my requests. It's unrideable, and it doesn't make much difference what track we are on."

Those comments spawned speculation that Rossi could quit mid-season.

Such a move seemed highly unlikely for a variety of reasons and the seven-time MotoGP champion spelt out his commitment to stay on the eve of this weekend's second round in Jerez.

"Leave Ducati? I wouldn't even think of it," GPone.com quotes Rossi as saying. "We have a contract in place, and I'll give my very best right up until the end. The chances of seeing me on another bike are virtually zero.”

Rossi, seventh with just one podium during a debut Ducati season spent chopping and changing parts, had high hopes for this year's 1000cc GP12, featuring the factory's first aluminium frame.

But despite a promising first test Rossi, a 79-time grand prix winner on Japanese machinery, continues to struggle with speed-sapping understeer.

The Doctor was twelfth and last of the manufacturer bikes in Losail qualifying, then limped home tenth in the race.

"Those [harsh] words were the result of my disappointment," explained Rossi. "We have been trying to solve the same problems for over a year, without success, and that weighs on you.

"But I know that Filippo Preziosi and all the Ducati guys are working hard, and soon we will have updates to try."

Rossi hopes that the new updates will be available next weekend in Estoril, or at latest during the post-race test.

Rossi, who will make his 200th premier-class start on Sunday, crashed while charging through the field early in last year's damp Jerez race, bringing down Honda's Casey Stoner in the process.


Tagged as: Ducati , Valentino Rossi , Jerez , Estoril

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Ryan - Unregistered

April 27, 2012 6:23 AM

It seems painfully obvious to me that any rider, no matter how good, can get on a bad bike, have a bad season, and then struggle with motivation and results afterwards. In recent MotoGP years alone the likes of Elias, Melandri and Hopper have been prime examples. Rossi is struggling on a bad bike, fact proven by the lack of podiums for any other rider bar Stoner on it. Hats off to him for getting something out of its past incarnations, but different riding styles have different merits, and thus different results on different bikes. To say that Stoner or Rossi could succeed on any bike is ridiculous - could either of them have won the title on last years Suzuki? I fail to understand what all the bickering is about.

Ausrossi

April 27, 2012 6:14 AM

10,6,4,3. Stoner's progression. It is fair to say that in 2011 Honda made a major step I say both in terms of rider (Stoner is part of the reason for the Honda dominance but the bike also played a part) and bike. That coupled with Rossi going to a brand new bike completely foreign to him. I think Stoner at Ducati in 2011 and say Rossi on the Honda would have seen Casey with say 1 win and a few podiums. Yes better than Rossi but some of that could be explained through prior experience. At the end of the day Ducati have either stood still or gone backwards while EVERYONE else has taken steps every year since 2007.



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