While seventh place in last evening’s Qatar GP race is not even worth texting home about and despite Ducati’s team manager Vitto Guareschi voicing hopes that Valentino Rossi could pull off something similar to what Andrea Iannone did in Moto2 (from 16th to 2nd), it just didn’t happen.
No rabbit out of the top hat, no magical waving of the Burgess’ spanners over the Desmosedici GP 11 could help Rossi yesterday, but the ever positive Italian was able to take the big disappointment in stride, looking at the glass half full instead of half empty, while his fans are probably manically poured over his lap charts looking to find his fastest laps times trying to compare them to the Honda’s and Yamaha’s and wishing that May would roll around faster.
“For sure we’re not here to get seventh-place finishes, but there are also positive things from this race, starting with the times, because we were lapping pretty quickly.
I had a great start, and that was a nice feeling because the horsepower that this bike has really helps it to launch,” said the still struggling 9 times world champion.
“Then I made a small error in the first turn, which is a shame because I got stuck behind Barbera for a few laps.
Otherwise I would have been closer to Simoncelli and Dovizioso, since anyway there was a period when I lapped with them.
I wouldn’t have beaten them though, because at the end of the race, I’m no longer able to ride like I have to.
I’m not referring to the Ducati because even last year, after I hurt my shoulder, I had the same problems in the latter parts of the races, and since the two bikes are so different, it means that it’s really a matter of me not being physically right.
It’s not just that.
We also have to improve the bike because the others have clearly made a step forward since last year.
Still, I learned a lot in this test and in this race, and we’ve already given very specific instructions about what must be done in the long term, in order to improve for the second half of the season for example.
In the near term, on the other hand, we’ll work on the setup, we’ll keep gathering experience, and I’ll continue exercising and doing everything I can to recuperate physically.
”If Rossi was able to put on a brave face, Nicky Hayden who is in his third year with Ducati, took a big and unexplainable step backwards from last year, even if it is only the first race of the season.
Is he suffering from Ducati putting all the attention on trying to make Rossi go faster and leaving him to handle his own set-up and riding problems?“I got a bad start in the race, and then when De Puniet crashed, I just about ran over him and had to come to a complete stop.
I’m happy I didn’t run into him, but that was a bad break, because I was dead last with a gap to the next person.
I started picking my way through, and once I got into ninth, I got into a decent rhythm and started doing my pace.
I was trying to catch Edwards because I thought it would’ve been nice to have a last-lap race with him, but I didn’t quite get to him.
It’s been a tough weekend for me on and off the track, but everybody around here is working to the maximum.
They’re the first ones in and the last ones out.
I can’t be happy with the ride, but I came from dead last, and my fastest lap was my last one.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s just one race, and no one can say we weren’t trying.