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I think with Rossi it's worth remembering back to the start of the season (pre gp11.1) when he was about 1.5secs off the pace. He consisitenly closed that difference down every race until he was at .7/.8secs off just before the switch to the GP11.1. The guys not forgotten how to ride fast or develop a bike - on the same bike he consistently beat Nicky who while not an Alien is no slouch either. Testing a new chasssis is always tricky especially when such a big step forward is needed. The difference is that usually this initial stage where the bike is at its slowest is usually done behind closed doors where you can't be embarassed by the current bikes.
Rossi has already written this season off which is staggeringly clear. It is next season that is important. If in the first few races he isn't on or around the pace THEN he should just admit he can't get on with ducatis and retire from GP.
Back in the early 2000s he could win on an inferior bike but the standard of the field has just move