Valentino Rossi approached the final of his testing allowance on the 2012 Ducati 1000 cc bike as another day of testing passed at Mugello.
Valentino Rossi, a 7-time World Champion in MotoGP, sat on the bike taking over from Franco Battaini, test rider, who was circling the tracks on Tuesday and also Wednesday. Today was Rossi’s 6th outing on Ducati’s GP12 1000 cc bike. A total of 8 days is allowed for factory riders for testing the 2012 bikes while still in the 2011 season.
Valentino Rossi fell during the testing session, but wasn’t hurt and did complete a total of 82 laps. Timings clocked weren’t released.
Rossi told the testing day was interesting, though went quite a bit long as they did ride until 6:30.
He told in order to develop bikes it required plenty of effort and focus, and at the same time, it’s also exciting and gives a sense of fulfilment to be in a group of selected people that are working and pushing hard as ever in a single direction. He told there were certain confirmatory results regarding numerous aspects of GP12’s chassis and electronics where they collected plenty of information for Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Racing Boss, and his staff in the Ducati factory. Rossi feels that work’s underway as they are preparing to take their next steps.
Rossi’s already racing on the 2012 version of the bike with an engine that’s 800cc when Ducati considered switching the chassis because of a poor 2011 season so far, though changes made are yet to bring results.
The current Ducati season is not looking bright for Ducati fans either. Since the time, Rossi announced his switch to Ducati from Yamaha, Rossi’s fans heaved a sigh of relief and expected Rossi to race well with the home team this season, but things have looked a bit dull given the bike’s poor performance so far this season. Ducati is indeed testing to try the aluminium frames with the 2012 prototype version where earlier carbon fibre frames were not satisfactory with both factory riders Rossi and Hayden except for Stoner who never did complain, but has since moved on to Honda and performing quite remarkably. There was heavy security at Mugello during the 3 day testing. Ducati still are not finding solutions for the chassis and exactly don’t know whether it’s the chassis or some other malfunction in the bike. Complaints from both Rossi and Hayden were they weren’t able to control the front end of the bike with the carbon fibre frames. There were rumours all over Europe about Rossi testing an aluminium framed GP12 prototype.
There are now 6 races left for Ducati to work out a solution at least for the 2012 season. Rossi expected to do well at Indy after good results at Brno, but failed as he crashed, but finished a good 10th overall when fans expected he’d not return to the track after the fall. Hayden didn’t have his way either when a lot of riders were unhappy about track conditions at Indy further adding to Hayden’s poor performance in a home race where Ben Spies was exceptionally good on his Yamaha. Hayden’s initial laps at Misano were good as he expected the bike to do well with a little of rain on the track as the bike steers well with little droplets of rain. Rossi felt the same and was looking very good until Sic of Gresini Honda and later Spies of Yamaha overtook him in the later laps.
Ducati need to keep testing in the coming months to find an answer to get the bike’s setup optimal for next season. There were rumours about Rossi returning to Honda where he preferred to race in a team that rode on Honda engines, but these were dismissed by him later. Hearing to what Rossi had to say about the testing part and his faith in Ducati, things look optimistic with the way Ducati are heading right now. Whether Hayden brings in a lot of sponsors from the US or whether Ducati really preferred him to be their rider is still a question to a Ducati fan. Hayden, however, won the title some time back and probably the potential was seen by Ducati then. So far, his performance this season has been outsmarted by former Champion Rossi, who also is still having problems with the bike’s setup.
Though Preziosi denied possibilities of testing with an aluminium frame at Mugello at the press conference in Misano, there are aplenty rumours about indeed testing an aluminium frame for the bike instead of carbon fibre. Despite remaining tight-lipped about future Ducati plans, the media’s ears are sharp, and they are pretty sure about it. Preziosi remained adamant when he joked about lying about past Ducati preparations too. Whatever Ducati is testing on, we hope the testing at Mugello brings results to Ducati and their staff in the upcoming races.