Motorcycle Racing News Ducati's Rossi: Valencia a 'Mickey Mouse' Circuit

Ducati’s Rossi: Valencia a ‘Mickey Mouse’ Circuit

2012 Valencia MotoGP Finale

Although Valentino Rossi has finished on the podium at Valencia seven times, including two wins, the Ducati Team rider admits the Spanish circuit is not a favorite.

This dislike for the circuit that will host the final round of 2012 MotoGP this weekend was likely compounded during Rossi’s debut season on the Ducati desmo last year when San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bauitsta took out a few riders, including Rossi and teammate Nicky Hayden.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “Valencia definitely isn’t one of my favorite circuits, apart from the fact that it’s in Spain, which always has a great atmosphere. It’s a ‘Micky Mouse’ track that’s small for MotoGP and therefore difficult and tricky. There are a bunch of left hand corners, and I normally prefer those that go to the right. Anyway, we’ll see. The asphalt was redone and that should have improved both the grip and the bumps. It will be a strange weekend that should be challenging for a few different reasons, but we’ll do our best.”

But Rossi will give it his best at the resurfaced Valencia, which will be his last race aboard the Ducati.

As for Hayden, he likes the track a bit more than Rossi, and will be looking for positive results at the season finale at Valencia, the fourth MotoGP race on Spanish soil.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “Valencia is a track and a race that I like a lot. It’s the last round of the year, so the atmosphere is good and everyone always seems to have a little something extra. The track has been resurfaced since we were last there, and it was certainly due.

“We’ll have to see how it is with tires when we get there, as new surfaces can be hard on rubber. We’ll need something that has good endurance on the left but also retains enough heat on the right. Smoother tracks are normally better for our bike. One thing we need to do better than in recent races is to make bigger improvements with the bike over the course of the weekend. My team has been working so hard all year, and I really want to end the season with a solid race for them.”

The Ducati Team Manager also offered comment on this weekend’s MotoGP finale at Valencia.

Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati Team Manager) says: “It’s the last race, and we have the chance for Valentino to finish the season in fifth place. We’ll all do our best to help him achieve that. It’s also important that Nicky finishes the season well, because apart from the wet Malaysian race, he’s been unlucky during the final part of the season.

“We were unfortunate at Valencia last year in that both riders were taken out in the first-turn crash, but prior to that, we had done a decent qualifying session with the possibility of having a good race. The track has new asphalt this year, so we’ll have to see how well the data that we gathered last season applies.”

Following Valencia, Rossi and Hayden will remain at Valencia for the post-season MotoGP test on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Valencia Records:

  • Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1:32.582 – 155.732 Km/h (96.767 mph)
  • Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2006), 1:31.002 – 158.436 Km/h (98.448 mph)
  • Circuit Length: 4.005 km (2.489 mi)
  • 2012 MotoGP Race: 30 laps (120.15 km/74.658 mi)
  • 2012 MotoGP Schedule: 2:00 p.m. Local Time

Ducati Team’s Best Results at Valencia:

  • 2011: NA
  • 2010: 2nd (Stoner)
  • 2009: 5th (Hayden)
  • 2008: 1st (Stoner)
  • 2007: 2nd (Stoner)
  • 2006: 1st (Bayliss)
  • 2005: 4th (Checa)
  • 2004: 3rd (Bayliss)
  • 2003: 3rd (Capirossi)

Valentino Rossi Info:

  • Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
  • Race number: 46
  • Age: 33 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
  • Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
  • GPs: 275 (215 x MotoGP, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
  • First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
  • First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
  • First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi’s MotoGP track record at Valencia:

  • 2011: Grid, 6th; Race, DNF
  • 2010: Grid, 4th; Race, 3rd
  • 2009: Grid, 4th; Race, 2nd
  • 2008: Grid, 10th; Race, 3rd
  • 2007: Grid, 17th; Race, DNF
  • 2006: Grid, 1st; Race, 13th
  • 2005: Grid, 15th; Race, 3rd
  • 2004: Grid, 3rd; Race, 1st
  • 2003: Grid, 1st; Race, 1st
  • 2002: Grid, 6th; Race, 2nd,
  • 2001: Grid, 2nd; Race 11th
  • 2000: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF

Nicky Hayden Info:

  • Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
  • Race number: 69
  • Age: 31 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
  • Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
  • Number of GPs: 166 (166 x MotoGP)
  • First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
  • Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
  • First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
  • Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
  • First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
  • World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden’s MotoGP track record at Valencia:

  • 2011: Grid, 7th; Race, DNF
  • 2010: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF
  • 2009: Grid, 6th; Race, 5th
  • 2008: Grid, 3rd; Race, 5th
  • 2007: Grid, 3rd; Race, 8th
  • 2006: Grid, 5th; Race, 3rd
  • 2005: Grid, 3rd; Race, 2nd
  • 2004: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF
  • 2003: Grid, 4th; Race, 16th

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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