Ducati factory riders couldn’t end a difficult 2012 season in the worst possible way at Valencia, Valentino Rossi who will be leaving the Italian marque after two highly disappointing seasons – with only three podiums and no wins – to return to Yamaha, finished in a lowly 10th, but even worse behind three CRT riders and a satellite Ducati rider (Abraham) and also lapped, his reputation as being ‘The Doctor’ in tatters.
If this wasn’t enough, he was accused of being the reason behind Ducati’s World Superbike pullout, of not pushing enough with the materials Ducati tried to give him and lastly getting the blame for Filippo Preziosi’s getting canned from the MotoGP project.
Valentino Rossi said, “It’s really a shame that the last race with Ducati finished this way.
Things went well this morning in the wet warm-up, and in similar conditions, it would have been possible to do a nice result.
Instead, this half-and-half situation was truly difficult.
In the end the right choice was to use the slick tyres, but my bike on the grid had a very different setting from the other one, so I didn’t feel like switching.
With the rain tyres, I felt fine at first, but then when it was necessary to switch, the situation became more complicated.
There was a thin dry line, but I couldn’t put the bike where I wanted and as soon as I would go off that line, it was very risky.
I could only try to finish.
I would have liked to finish these two years with Ducati better.
They were two difficult seasons, but I nonetheless leave behind many people that I enjoyed working with, and with whom it was nice to go racing.
”If Rossi still managed to finish and clinch 6th in the standings, Nicky Hayden’s season was for the first time in his career podiumless and he even crashed out of the difficult race.
“It’s a shame to end a difficult season in a bad way, but at least I’m 100 per cent okay from the crash,” said Hayden.
“On the grid, it was a really close call between slick tyres and rain tyres.
If the track had been warm, it would clearly have been better to start on slicks, but the cold surface temperature made it close.
On the warm-up lap, Lorenzo was going faster than us on slicks, so in my opinion, it was the right decision to come in and switch bikes and start from pit lane.
After that, it was okay on the dry line, but to make passes, you had to go out where it was treacherous.
I got behind Petrucci and couldn’t find a way past.
I was waiting to go by him on the front straightaway, but I got a little bit wide in the last corner and hit a patch.
I went down so quickly that there was no way to save it.
Next season starts now, so hopefully things will be better.