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Rossi 'can't make the difference' with Ducati

Former seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has admitted that he cannot get to grips with his Ducati Desmosidici GP12 after a difficult start to the MotoGP season in Qatar.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2012 11:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ducati Desmosidici GP12,qatar,motoGP
Valentino-Rossi-has-scored-just-one-podium-finish-since-joining-Ducati-in-2011-Getty-Images

Former seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has admitted that he cannot get to grips with his Ducati Desmosidici GP12 after a difficult start to the MotoGP season in Qatar.

The Italian finished the 22-lap race 10th after starting 12th on the starting grid while his American teammate Nicky Hayden who qualified and finished sixth. Speaking to Italian broadcaster Mediaset, Rossi said that he had big problems at the start of the race and lost a lot of time while under braking.

"I can't ride this bike, I can't make the difference," said Rossi. "I can't even keep up with Hayden's pace, who I used to go quick against in comparison. In theory, with new tyres I should go quicker. Nicky managed to do a good race with the other works Ducati, but he still ended up only sixth."

Rossi had been slightly optimistic following the pre-season tests at Sepang, but had still ruled out being competitive enough to challenge for the MotoGP crown that he had held from 2001 to 2005, and won again in 2008 and 2009.

Following the global economic recession, MotoGP (like F1) introduced drastic spending restrictions including limiting pre-season testing and banning in-season testing. There were just nine days of pre-season testing held prior to the start of the 2012 season and it seems to have affected Rossi more than his championship rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, who won the 2010 and 2011 titles, respectively.

Rossi has scored just one podium finish since leaving Yamaha for the Ducati team at the end of the 2010 season.

First Published: Apr 09, 2012 11:29 IST