Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport MotoGP: Valentino Rossi Regains Rhythm

MotoGP: Valentino Rossi Regains Rhythm

2011 MotoGP

After a stressful pre-season, and so-so results at the opening round of 2011 MotoGP in Qatar, Valentino Rossi appeared to regain some rhythm Friday at the opening practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The nine-time World Champion Rossi was third fastest aboard the Ducati Team GP11 in Free Practice 1, a morning session when temperatures were a bit cooler at the Jerez MotoGP circuit.

Valentino Rossi was 0.526 of a second behind the leader, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, and 0.498 behind the second-fastest rider, Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa.

These are the best results so far this MotoGP season for Rossi, who continues to struggle with the Ducati GP11; Rossi also lacks strength in the shoulder he injured last season while motocross training.

In Free Practice 2, the winds picked up as the temperatures ascended. Rossi wasn’t able to catch the lead MotoGP riders, the Italian finishing fifth fastest, 0.855 behind the quickest rider, Pedrosa. In both sessions, Valentino Rossi was the fastest of the Ducati riders.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team GP11) says: “I’m happy because this morning I did the third-fastest time, and in the afternoon, when the higher temperature hurt us a little, I was fifth.

“Anyway, most of the riders went a bit slower in the second session. Apart from the two Hondas at the front, we’re closer to everyone else, which was our goal. It was a good day. There’s still work to do; we’re trying to find the right balance, and that’s why we’re trying two settings that are a little different from each other as we work on weight distribution.

“We have to improve the front feeling a little; the bike that I prefer still doesn’t turn like we want it to, which means we’ll have to find a compromise between the two setups. As for my shoulder, I don’t have much strength, but in terms of endurance, it’s a little better.”

Valentino Rossi will be back on the Jerez circuit Saturday morning for Free Practice 3 and MotoGP qualifying. The track has treated Rossi fair in the past; Rossi has eight wins there, six in the premier MotoGP class.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX Review (21 Fast Facts)

Anyone notice how the sport-touring class of motorcycles has nearly vanished? At one time, even niche manufacturers such as Ducati and Aprilia proffered appealing...

2021 BMW K 1600 GTL First Look (7 Fast Facts from European Sources)

The flagship of BMW tourers—the 2021 BMW K 1600 GTL—has a few deviations from last year. There’s nothing huge, though there are new colors,...

2021 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse [Debut]

The partnership between Jack Daniel Distillery and Indian Motorcycle continues with the 2021 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Roadmaster Dark Horse. As has been done...

Suzuki MX-Tuner 2.0 First Look: Aggressive, Smoother, Richer, and Leaner

Owners of late-model RM-Z motocrossers will rejoice the news of the all-new Suzuki MX-Tuner 2.0 tuning system for their motorcycles. The new system features...

2021 BMW S 1000 XR First Look (5 Fast Facts From Europe)

We just got through testing the BMW S 1000 XR, and now we’re looking at the 2021. Our European sources tell us that there...

Yamaha YDX-Moro and YDX-Moro Pro First Looks (13 Fast Facts)

Yamaha continues to expand its pedal-assist electric bicycle range with the new YDX-Moro and YDX-Moro Pro. Both are designed as off-road capable two-wheelers that...