After his debut podium finish on the Ducati at 2011 France MotoGP Sunday, Valentino Rossi headed to England for the inauguration ceremony of the new, “ultramodern paddock structure” at Silverstone Circuit.For 2011, the UK track, which will host Round 7 of 2011 MotoGP on June 12, added the Silverstone Wing, which “comprises spacious garages, a media center, offices, and an auditorium.”To celebrate, Rossi took some laps at the Silverstone track aboard a World Superbike Ducati 1198R.And Ducati says while that bike was in the garage getting its electronics checked, Rossi then piloted a standard Ducati 1198 street bike around the course, complete with license plate and mirrors. Between both bikes, Rossi completed about 30 laps, which will help him for the 2011 MotoGP date because he missed last year’s race after breaking his leg in Mugello.Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: “I really had fun,. After a few laps with the 1198 Superbike, we had a problem with the electronics and decided to use the 1198 street bike that Ducati’s UK affiliate rushed to us. I really liked riding that bike here.“The track is nice-difficult and very technical. It makes you work hard because there are very fast sections where having the right trajectory is important, and others that are very narrow where you have to have good grip under acceleration. The first turn is completely blind, and you must hold a very precise line, and in general the entire first section is really great, definitely the part I like most.“In short, I enjoyed it, especially because there were many drivers and riders who have great histories in motorsports, like John Surtees, who told me that he raced here in the ’50s. I wasn’t following racing then,” joked the Italian, “but he was great.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.