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valentino_rossi_sepangFor the first time during the 2011 MotoGP pre-season, Valentino Rossi has been less than optimistic about his Ducati motorcycle, his performance, and his team. Rossi said that he was “quite worried” about his performance during the Sepang testing session, and that there was much work to do before the start of the 2011 MotoGP season.

Throughout the pre-season, Valentino Rossi has been optimistic about the 2011 season despite his ailing shoulder and poor lap times. Rossi missed the second day of testing due to illness, and was only able to manage an 11th place finish on the final day of Sepang.

Rossi was noticeably unhappy about the test.

“After the first day, we thought we could do it. We had started well and were able to make the bike work with the hard tyres, which is good. After that though, we didn’t take steps forward. Although we have some good ideas for the electronics that I’m optimistic will solve those problems relatively easily, I’m not as confident about the chassis set-up.

“We tried hard, but we haven’t yet managed it. I’m able to brake hard, but I’m still having trouble in mid-corner.”

We can’t be satisfied with this test because we didn’t reach our goals… Instead, we’re 1.8 seconds back, and our rhythm is also lacking.

As Rossi and his Ducati continue to struggle, Honda’s RC212V motorcycles continue to dominate. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa had a 1-2 finish at each of the three days in Sepang, and on the final day, the top four bikes were all Honda machines. Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden were close to two seconds behind the leading Honda bikes.

“We can’t be satisfied with this test because we didn’t reach our goals, which were to finish close to the top six and especially to reduce the gap to the front,” Rossi said. “Instead, we’re 1.8 seconds back, and our rhythm is also lacking.”

Rossi wasn’t the only rider displeased with his performance. Rossi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, was also dissatisfied with the Sepang test.

“We didn’t want to leave two-seconds off the pace after six days here,” Hayden said. “We just didn’t make the step forward that you would expect in these last three days.

“It’s not because of any major problem, but a combination of little details.”

Courtesy of

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