2011 US MotoGP
For Laguna Seca MotoGP, Valentino Rossi had his choice of either the GP11 or the revamped GP11.1.
The Italian decided to go with the GP11.1, as the Ducati team has been working diligently to find a proper setup on the newer 800cc prototype, with Rossi feeling more comfortable on that bike.
But just as the story has been all MotoGP season with Rossi’s debut on the Ducati team, the nine-time World Champion struggled throughout the three free practice sessions, and qualified seventh.
Like a true champion, though, Rossi fought through some issues and was able to finish Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca MotoGP in sixth, with his teammate Nicky Hayden following in seventh.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP11.1 MotoGP) says: "We worked well this weekend. We started from a better position than we have in recent races, and I got a good launch on the start and tried to stay with the leaders.
"I did a lap in the mid-’22s, but then I closed the front twice in a row on the bumps in Turn 5 and nearly crashed. I still had a tough race after that, because Nicky stayed glued to me and didn’t give me a chance to breathe. We obviously don’t want to be fighting for sixth place, but we’re having some problems at the moment and we have to try and do our best with what we have.
"We’re losing too much on corner entry, where I’m very slow because I don’t have enough feeling, but Ducati is working and we must stay focused and positive, making progress step by step. In the short term, we have to make up those missing tenths in order to stay with the group with Spies, Sic and Dovizioso. Then we’ll think about the others."
Valentino Rossi and the Ducati team now have a three-week break before the 2011 MotoGP Championship resumes at Brno for Round 11 of 18. Following the Brno race, the team will have its second official MotoGP test.