Valentino Rossi in red…the idea became the most anticipated of the 2011 MotoGP season, garnering the most attention from thousands of Ducati fans and the media.
This idea came to life on Tuesday, as the nine-time World Champion Rossi appeared at Wrooom 2011 event in Italy. Rossi discussed his initial impressions of the Ducati Desmosedici, his recovering shoulder and the upcoming MotoGP season.
And of course Rossi satisfied the demands of everyone in attendance at Madonna di Campiglio, a ski resort. The Italian, who switched from Yamaha to Ducati after the 2010 MotoGP season, began with his discussion of the Ducati, which he called the "proper prototype" with a "different concept from the Japanese factories."
Rossi was talking of his first outing on the Ducati at the post-season MotoGP tests at Valencia. He finished well behind the field on his debut, but Rossi and his team didn’t care; it was a learning process needed for the upcoming MotoGP season.
Valentino Rossi says: "This is a different bike and you have to ride it more aggressively. This is my work at Ducati, to improve it and make it an easier bike and have fewer risks in all the races. Stoner was unbelievable in some races last year but made some mistakes too and ended the Championship in fourth.
"So far we have been working on easier things such as rider position, handlebars, foot pegs for Sepang, and there we will start to work on improving the bike."
The 31-year-old Rossi was in much pain at the Valencia MotoGP test, also, saying "The big problem in Valencia was me. I had a lot of pain in the shoulder and not enough power." He then underwent surgery after the Valencia tests.
Valentino Rossi says: "The problem was that the surgery was a lot heavier than expected because the damage was very big. The doctor said it wouldn’t be a problem to recover 100 percent, but that I’d need more time.
"From that moment I have worked hard. I expect to be fitter, but we have to put in 100% to be at the minimum level to ride for Sepang test."
Rossi went on to discuss the Italian / Italian MotoGP partnership between him and the Borgo Panigale Ducati factory.
Valentino Rossi says: "I will definitely have extra pressure with Ducati compared to the past, because a lot of fans around the world are curious about my performance with Ducati. We have to manage this and it will be very hard work – maybe we won’t be ready to win in the first races so I hope the fans will give us enough time."
Rossi says that his former teammate (and big nemesis) Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner look to be the favorites for the 2011 MotoGP season. He also said he’s happy to be reunited with his former Honda teammate, Nicky Hayden.
Valentino Rossi says: "I have always had a good relationship with Nicky since 2003 when we were team-mates with Honda. I’m very happy to work with him. He’s a great guy and has experience on the Desmosedici, so maybe he will help us in the beginning. It will be completely open with no wall in the box."