With six of 18 rounds down in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, Valentino Rossi has struggled on the Ducati GP11.
A look at the nine-time world champion Rossi’s untypical 2011 MotoGP results show this: seventh in Qatar, fifth in Jerez, fifth in Estoril, third in Le Mans, fifth in Catalunya and sixth in Silverstone.
Throughout all of those races, the Italian VR46 struggled mostly with setup on the Ducati GP11. But heading into Assen, Valentino Rossi will be on the next generation MotoGP machine: the Ducati GP11.1.
The GP.11.1 has been in development since the Sepang tests, and Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden will pilot the bike this weekend at Assen MotoGP.
Ducati says: “For the GP11.1, the Corse Department prepared an 800cc engine that installs in the chassis that Ducati engineers are developing for 2012. The bike in which Rossi will use will also use a new gearbox, the ‘DST- Ducati Seamless Transmission,’ the design process for which began in 2010.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati GP11 MotoGP) says: “Assen is one of my tracks-one of those that I like most and where I’ve had some nice races in all the classes. We’ll try to take advantage of that good feeling and of our experience at this circuit because Thursday morning we’ll debut some updates to my bike that are very promising but also very fresh.
“Filippo [Preziosi], the guys at Ducati and the Test Team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven’t had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we’ll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we’ll have to focus on two jobs: making basic adjustments to the new technical parts, and finding a general setup for the race on Saturday.
“We’ll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we’re happy and motivated by the work we’re doing.”