From the looks of things on Thursday during a wet Free Practice 1, Valentino Rossi would qualify with the top riders for Saturday’s Assen TT MotoGP.
But although the Italian was second-fastest in the wet, him and the Ducati team only had about two hours of dry track time Saturday to find a proper setup on the GP11.1, a revised version of his MotoGP prototype.
Due to these struggles in the Netherlands, Rossi only qualified 11th on the 2011 Assen MotoGP grid.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro GP11.1 MotoGP) says: “We’re disappointed with qualifying because we had started quite well yesterday, so clearly, we expected things to go better today. We had a decent session this morning, but we weren’t able to improve, so we’ll start eleventh.
“The rear of the GP11.1 is better than the previous version, but we weren’t able to find a setup that allowed us to bring the tires up to temperature, and at the moment, that’s making it difficult to find the feeling I need to ride hard and be strong on corner entry.
“I don’t think we’ve yet learned how to properly adjust the bike, and that’s something we knew could happen since we have so little time available. Still, this all helps us to gather experience for the future, and we have some ideas for tomorrow’s warm-up session that we hope will help us go faster in the race.”
With six of 18 rounds complete, Rossi is currently fifth in the 2011 MotoGP Championship with 68 points, 48 behind the series leader Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda).
For the 2011 Assen MotoGP qualifying results, click here.