2011 USA MotoGP
Going into the race that marks the second half of the 2011 MotoGP season, Valentino Rossi and the Ducati team need to make up some ground…and quickly.
It hasn’t been the best debut year for the Rossi/Ducati MotoGP combination (think of Rossi qualifying 16th last weekend at Sachsenring), but everyone involved is hard at work to change that.
To help speed up the development of the Ducati Desmosedici, Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden will be using both the GP11 and the revamped GP11.1 during the practice sessions at the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the shortest venue on the 2011 MotoGP calendar.
The Ducati MotoGP team is planning a "back-to-back comparison" of the Ducati’s two desmos on the first day of free practice this Friday. Once data is compiled, the team will decide what version to run in Sunday’s Red Bull USGP.
Regardless of the Rossi and the Ducati struggles, the Italian has some luck at Laguna Seca. Valentino Rossi has a win and three podiums at Laguna. And he will also be reunited with his main man, Ducati Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess, who missed Sachsenring and Mugello due to his wife being ill.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP11.1 MotoGP) says: "I think that we’ll try to use both versions of the Desmosedici on Friday so that we can compare them and do some work for both the near term and the future, because we want to learn as much as possible.
"We’re aware that it could be difficult because we’ll also have to be preparing for the race, but we think that in order to improve our bike, it’s important to try everything possible. For me, Laguna represents a great corner, the Corkscrew, and many nice memories, including one of the best races of my career, in 2008. In any case, it’s always a pleasure to race in the United States because the motorcycle world here is really nice.
"Of course I’m even happier that Jerry (Burgess) has returned and I look forward to seeing him in the garage again with all the guys."