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You're right it's obvious. Rossi is trying to make the bike work, and trying to figure out the problems with JB and the engineers.
When he went to Yam he had unlimited testing with the engineers to sort the bike out. With the Duke he has has had almost none. He is not riding the bike to overcome it's problems at whatever cost, he is trying to iron those out.
I would guess that at the end of the first year they are only half way through the off season testing that he had when he moved to Yam.
And yes everyone knows that Stoner could ride the beast by doing exactly that - riding past the problems and hoping for the best. And he did it damn well! And some of the time it worked. And some of the time he was thrown into the gravel at almost before the filaments in the starting lights had cooled.
At least that's my take.