MotoGP: Rossi Tests Ducati 1198 at Misano

2011 MotoGP Prep

With the first official test of the 2011 MotoGP season only a week away, Valentino Rossi took some laps at Misano, Italy, Wednesday aboard a Ducati 1198 to test his physical condition.

This is completely legal in MotoGP rules; during the winter break, which ends Feb. 1, riders are not allowed to pilot any prototype machines. But they can ride non-MotoGP machines, such as the Ducati 1198.

The 31-year-old Italian was testing aboard the 1198 to assess his comfort level in his recovering shoulder. Rossi was testing various riding positions at Misano, prepping for the Sepang tests in Malaysia Feb. 1-3.

Valentino Rossi says: "The track has given us the answer that more or less than I expected: my shoulder hurts. Especially under braking when I’m sick at the front where they sutured the tendon. The structure is quite stable and we are going pretty well as resistance, but for the rest, I have a lot of pain and little strength.

"Hopefully a little better in these last days before the test in Malaysia, where, even working on the riding position, we will do everything possible to gather critical information with the Desmosedici, although not in top form. Today I did 25 laps in total, proving that the 1198 Superbike is a little bikes, a ‘historic’ Ducati: beautiful, strong, I liked it!"

Rossi injured the shoulder during motocross training early last season, and it hampered his ability to keep pace with former Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who won the 2010 World Motorcycle Championship.

The nine-time (including 125cc GP, 250cc GP, 500cc GP and MotoGP) World Champion Valentino Rossi made his first official appearance as a Ducati Team motorcyle rider on Jan. 11, 2011 at the annual VROOM preseason media event in the Italian Alps.

The Italian superstar Rossi moved to the iconic Italian Ducati motorcycle racing team after the 2010 MotoGP season and will pair with American MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. Rossi spent the last seven seasons racing with Yamaha, winning four world motorcycle titles.

The 17-race, 2011 season begins March 20 with a night race in Qatar.