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Look Out! Valentino Rossi Loves His New Bike

After just a single day of testing at Sepang, Valentino Rossi was relatively effusive in his praise of the newly developed Desmosedici GP12.  Lapping just 7/10ths of a second behind leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), Rossi immediately had the front-end feeling he has been missing since his switch to Ducati at the beginning of last year.  Here is a quote from Rossi following Day 1 of testing.  We will provide a follow-up report after testing concludes later this week.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th, 2:02.392 (43 laps)

“I’m happy because first impressions are important, and already in the first few laps, I could tell that I like the bike. Ducati did a good job in a just a short time. The bike is beautiful, but more importantly, it’s nice to ride. The riding position has improved a lot, and it’s better on braking and corner entry. I can brake like I want to and take the lines that I like, and I feel comfortable in general. I was able to ride well and not make mistakes, and there’s a reason for that. It means that the bike can be ridden. It’s more agile in change of direction, and it wheelies much less. We’re 7 tenths back today, and of course there’s still a lot of work to do before we can win. We have to improve in some areas: acceleration, electronics, power delivery and setup. I’d say we’ll be able to make a more accurate assessment at the end of the test, because let’s remember, the bike is just laps old. To leave here a second back from the top would be okay because anyway, we know that there’s still much more to be done. But one of the best things from today is that the bike reacts well to changes. That enabled us to drop one or two tenths every outing, which means further progress should be possible.”


  1. Terry Lemmons says:

    Illegal passes are mad on the street not on the race track . IT IS CALLED GO FOR IT. Any one not willing to push it should not be on the track .It is a RACE. T.L.

  2. Z2 says:

    Yeah, he loved it right up until he got smoked by Stoner.

  3. Dave says:

    Stoner fell down. We don’t know why (Rossi took Stoner out once this year because of over confidence). He got up he kept 2nd place.

    We DO know why he was in 2nd place and that was because Rossi committed a blatantly illegal and dangerous pass. If that is going to be allowed then it reduces MotoGP to NASCAR on two wheels. The track layout and borders are not optional.

  4. Scotty says:

    Stoner under 2 minutes. The only one. Likes bike too!

  5. Gary says:

    I am glad he likes the new bike, and sincerely hope he is competitive with Stoner, et al., but when he says work is still needed on “acceleration, electronics, power delivery and setup,” that sure does cover lots of ground.

  6. Stinky says:

    I hope this turns into at least a 3 bike field. It’d be nice if Suzuki could find some speed. Bautista seemed like he wanted to race last year. I’d love to see Rossi get one last championship. I really like seeing the best riders in the world race I just hope the class does them justice.

  7. RC says:

    Rossi is one of the greatest all time racers out there, the young people keep learning from him, I think he stll has a lot to give and lots of wnning left. Just look at Carlos Checa!!

  8. brinskee says:

    Stoner the only one to break 2:00. Rossi almost a second back. Spies looking fantastic. I love the preseason scramble!!

  9. LarryC says:

    Lorenzo’s equally enthusiastic about his Yammy. Pedrosa 2nd fastest. No Stoner. Where’s Hayden? I thought he’d made the trip to Sepang. Still too busted up to ride? Great show for a brand new bike. It’ll be an interesting week. Still lots of work for everybody ahead.

  10. BSteely says:

    Corkscrew pass? I remember it as the drain grate pass because he rolled right over the top of a storm drain. I doubt anyone has ever before passed into the lead in a motorcycle race rolling over an iron drain grate in the process. Laguna Seca should nickel plate that thing and give it to him as a trophy.

    • John says:

      The grate should definitely be nickel plated as a momento of the most blatant illegal pass ever ignored by race officials.

  11. Mike says:

    That’s it, I’m booking a trip to Laguna Seca

  12. Beaufort says:

    Interesting tribute helmet he’s wearing.

  13. Gutterslob says:

    Still early days. I’m no Ducati fan but I do like Rossi. Glad he seems happy on the bike (for now).
    Lorenzo was the only rider in the 2:01’s today, but we don’t know what kind of tires everyone’s rolling.

    I’m just hoping for a closer battles between the factories this season. With the grid as small as it is, MotoGP can’t afford any more processions. The CRTs, unsurprisingly, look to be way of the pace.

    Best thing about these early-season tests are all the unpainted bikes. That M1 especially looks magnificent in carbon!!

  14. Bob says:

    I love Valentino, but the young and hungry will always have a tremendous advantage. When he was young and hungry, he was amazing. I believe that his time has come and gone, never-the-less I am glad he is still around.

    • Stratkat says:

      i for one am not giving up on the guy. i still have the Corkscrew pass in my head, old Rossi on the inferior bike beat the young lion at his own game. the was Stoner’s race to lose. i am so hoping the Ducati is competitive this year!

      • John A. Kuzmenko says:

        Rossi’s peak may have come and gone, but he ain’t over with yet – he’s in the over-rev right now. 😉
        I hope he is indeed happy with the bike and on for this season because that should make for better racing with him in the mix every weekend.

        That Laguna Seca race with Stoner a few years back (already!) was fantastic.

        • Dave says:

          The Laguna Seca pass should have relegated him to 2nd place, post-finish. He cut the track to his advantage. Low point in my opinion, when he realized he was surpassed by a younger rider.

          • vato loco says:

            The young one succumbed to pressure during that race and dumped his bike. Rossi’s win at Laguna Seca was well deserved.

      • Pete says:

        The best pass EVER done at Laguna was by Stoner over Lorenzo last year. Round the outside at 265kph over a blind crest!! Eat that.

    • Agent55 says:

      “…but the young and hungry will always have a tremendous advantage.” Tell that to Doohan, Bayliss, Checa, Biaggi, Mladin…