The stage at the 21st edition of the Wrooom Press Ski Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio in Trento, Italy, brought comments from the newest and most anticipated Ducati team in MotoGP: Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Both Ducati riders answered questions from a field of both Italian and International journalist on Tuesday. As expected, Rossi was asked many questions about his shoulder surgery, and his first impressions on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11.
Hayden was also questioned about the upcoming MotoGP season on the Ducati, and how he has integrated into the Italian team over the past three years.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati MotoGP) says: "This my third year with Ducati. The start was a little bit difficult, but it’s gotten better and better since I’ve been on this team and on this bike. We’ve grown a lot, the bike has improved, and my relationship with the team has improved.
"We made a big step from the first year to the second, and I’d like to do the same this year. We know we have a good bike. We’ve made a couple of little tweaks for next year by adding some staff and a few engineers to help me. I have a strong team around me. I know being teammates with Rossi won’t be easy, but I really don’t get too caught up in that. I focus on my job, and that’s why I think it’ll work with us.
"I’m looking forward to having Valentino’s information and feedback. He’s been around a long time and has a lot of experience. I think it’ll be fun. I know our team; the motivation is really high, and the excitement with the fans in Italy is high as well. I can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like when get to Mugello."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati MotoGP) says: "Honestly, I had hoped to be a little better by this time, but instead, it’s going to be quite a race to have decent fitness in time for the first test. My recovery is exactly on schedule, but it’s long: we’re working hard to at least recover mobility in my shoulder, which I’ll need to ride the bike well and to be able to fit behind the windscreen.
"I won’t be able to be in top form for the first test in Malaysia, because it will be impossible to regain full strength, but I hope to be able to have a good seating position. The doctors assured me that the shoulder will return to 100% in a few months.
"Obviously, it would’ve been better to be in shape now, because we’ve got a lot of work to do and not much time to do it: three tests before the championship to make the Desmosedici not only very fast-it already is-but also a little easier to ride. We’ll have to meet each other halfway: make the bike like I like, and as for me, adapt my riding style a little to try and make the most of the bike.
"It will be an emotional challenge; it will be difficult, but I’m happy because there’s a lot of extra motivation. They’re very excited at Ducati; they believe in me, and we’ll do our best!"
Wrooom continues tomorrow with press conferences with Claudio Domenicali, General Director of Ducati Motor Holding, and Filippo Preziosi, General Director and Technical Director of Ducati Corse, followed by the presentation of the MotoGP Ducati GP11.
Stay tuned to UltimateMotorCycling.com for updates.