2011 VR46 MotoGP Report
As usual at Catalunya MotoGP, the pilots endured a mix of wet and dry conditions. Under these circumstances, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi struggled with the proper setup on the GP11, though he fought hard for a fifth-place finish in Round 5 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
The nine-time World Champion Rossi began battling with fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) in the first half of the 25-lap race, but couldn’t maintain the position. Rossi says this was mostly due to setup on the Ducati MotoGP prototype.
Regardless of somber outlook on the Catalunya MotoGP results, Valentino Rossi is confident in the progress of the GP11.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP11 MotoGP) says: "There are good and bad aspects to today’s race. On the positive side, we reduced the gap to the front, and the others in front of me weren’t so far ahead. On the other hand, I’m obviously not happy with fifth place, because our goal was to do better than that.
"To tell the truth, we really could have done a little better today but last night we thought of a change to try in the warm-up and the session turned out to be wet. The change worked quite well, so we found ourselves at a crossroads as to whether or not to blindly use it in the race. We tried it, and that may have been a mistake because the bike moved a lot on corner entry. It was sliding, and I didn’t have enough grip, so I was stuck for the whole race, unable to attack Dovizioso and (Ben) Spies.
"Otherwise, I think I could have had a slightly better pace and perhaps battled with them. Anyway, we’re not too far off, and we’re working well, which we need to continue doing. The championship is long and we’re still fully focused on both the GP11 and 2012, and we have no intention of backing off."
Filippo Preziosi (Ducati MotoGP Technical Director) says: "Clearly, we would have liked to have given Valentino Rossi what he needed to fight for the podium, but nonetheless, I think today’s race demonstrates that we’ve taken another small step forward. We’ve reduced the gap to the front, which is very positive. It was probably possible to do even better, but we found ourselves in a situation where we only had this morning’s wet warm-up to try some changes, and they didn’t all work well in the race."