When the 2011 MotoGP grid began practicing for Round 6 in Silverstone Friday, Ducati Team's Valentino Rossi dealt with the same issues that have been plaguing him for most of the season thus far - bike setup.
The Ducati Team and Rossi couldn't improve on much, and Rossi would end up qualifying 13th on Saturday, the worse starting position on the MotoGP grid that the Italian Rossi had this year. But surprisingly, under extremely wet conditions at Silvestone MotoGP Sunday that were similiar to Round 2 in Jerez, the nine-time World Champion took sixth, and his teammate Nicky Hayden took fourth.
Although Valentino Rossi was unhappy with the Ducati GP11's setup, he rode consistently and patiently, allowing him to take sixth and garner 10 points; VR46 now remains fourth in the championship, 48 points behind series leader and Sunday's Silvestone winner, Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati GP11 MotoGP) says: "Without a doubt, this weekend was the most difficult so far this season, but we at least managed to do a good job of limiting the damage. Considering how we came into the race, sixth place is a fairly positive result that helps us to stay not too far from the top of the standings in fourth, which isn't bad.
"We knew that my lack of experience here compared to the others would hurt us, but it's also true that we haven't managed to improve our setup as well as we should have. In fact, today Nicky managed to have a nice race and ride well, even setting the fastest lap, which demonstrates that the Ducati is competitive in the wet.
"We didn't improve enough though, and that made it hard for me, as the bike was difficult to ride and I couldn't push hard. We're all responsible-me, the bike, and the team-so together we'll try to improve and return to the level we were at in Le Mans and Catalunya as soon as possible, and then take another step forward."
For a full report of 2011 Silverstone MotoGP, click here.