Nearly Here: Rossi's First Official Ducati Appearance

After what seems like an eternal wait, Valentino Rossi is about to make his first official appearance as a Ducati rider on Monday evening, when the MotoGP team is presented at the annual Wrooom event that the Bologna factory host together with Ferrari at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio. Since Rossi's switch to Ducati was announced back in August 2010, Ducati, Rossi and Yamaha have masterminded a remarkable media blackout, meaning that nobody has been able to speak to the Italian about the move, despite the obvious fan demand and media pressure. Instead, the fans have been forced to make do with the impressions filtered through third parties, such as Filippo Preziosi at the Valencia tests, or more recently, Jerry Burgess in the Italian magazine Motosprint.

From tonight, that is all over. Rossi and Nicky Hayden will be presented at the opening of the Wrooom event on Monday evening, followed by a week of activity with the press. Shortly afterwards, we should begin to hear Rossi's impressions of the Ducati directly from the horse's mouth, rather than via intermediaries. The most pressing questions Rossi is likely to face will revolve around his slow times at Valencia, whether they were down to his shoulder injury - the Italian is still recovering from surgery to fix that problem - and how much that influenced his feeling with the Ducati's fickle front end.

But the Wrooom event is a mere appetizer, a media showcase and a chance for the (printed) media to talk to the Ducati team. The proof of the pudding will come in three weeks' time, when MotoGP paddock gathers for the first test of the year in Sepang on February 1st. Rossi's recovery should be almost complete by then, with enough strength to do at least short runs at race pace, and to test the parts that Ducati is expected to bring for the 2011 season.

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I've been starved of Moto GP news lately, can't wait to hear pretty much anything.
Thanks Dave

Its been a 'parched land' waiting for you to get back up and running! #1 QUESTION: any word on Rossi's shoulder/healing/etc?

Glad to see the site is back to speed David.
Could not agree with you more.The event in the Dolomites has always been a 'promo fest',and good on Ducati and Ferrari for staging it.
Sepang 1 is the burning bush. Any failure by Ducati/Rossi to be at the sharp end of that test is early season 'project/investment' failure.
Even Rossi's massive fan base will not buy the shoulder story forever,especially if he trails his main rivals by over half a second,nevermind weather,his team mate and other Ducati sattelite riders.
I wonder whether if faced with the questions,he will be honest about his Sepang expectations.Let's face it,he won it last year comfortably and many times previously.Valencia has never been his greatest track.Sepang,please no excuses.
Many riders have had 'off season' surgical procedures.

Great to have David 'active' again.
How do we get JB's interview in Motosprint translated to English - it would take me three weeks to translate it word by word ?

Thx for that Raza. I didn't relaise it would translate it in one go.

And a big thanks for pointing out the Motosprint interview.

And a big thanks for pointing out the Motosprint interview.

I am really glad you are back!

I would like to know what FIAT is doing. Are they staying with Yamaha, going to Ducati or leaving the sport????????

This article may not be about racing directly, but at this point I will take any information on what's going on. Glad your back up and running. Hopefully this can carry me over until the next articles!

I would do just about anything at the moment to get the first shots of the Desmo GP11 with Yellow 46 all over it!

Plasmatron - yep only time will tell. BUT I had concerns last yr VR would exacerbate his shoulder injury: not good for any of 'us' following MotoGP - will be a sad day if an ongoing shoulder problem reduces his competiveness. In my book he has unquestioned talent even though he has previously stated Stoner is faster than him over a single lap (and that in 2010 'Stoner was sometimes incredible').

I've read everything VR said yesterday - I doubt he's bluffing.

I, for one, refuse to underestimate Valentino Rossi. While being the most brilliant rider of the current generation (with only one competitor in the For All Time category), remember that a good portion of his strength is in his ability to psyche out his competitors. I fully believe that he's quietly holding something back, not letting the rest of the world in on what's really going on with him.

Most likely the only people who know what's up is Team Ducati - and with Nicky Hayden as his teammate, you're certainly not going to hear any slips in the coming month. Also, even if he's not in the top three (top five?) at the tests in three weeks, that doesn't mean he's not going to be competitive in Quatar.

Never forget that first season on the Yamaha. He's on a (supposedly) uncompetitive bike, he wasn't even expected to podium . . . . . . . . and I still have that picture of him kissing the bike after he won the race.

It's great to have MM back online after a long and silent pause. I was starting to feel similar worries as 10 years ago with Y2K.

After weeks without many news, it's refreshing MotoGP showing signs of life.

My initial thoughts are:

- Ducati colors and VR colors DO NOT MATCH. Lets hope is not the same with rider and team.
- I was really surprised Nicky changed leathers for Dainese. It seems the team wants to emphasize their Italian DNA.
- Lorenzo did the same going from Dainese to Alpinestars
- MotoGP has around 100 sponsors. 93 of them are with Ducati and VR.

Happy new year to David and all MM readers!
Greetings from Mexico.

I was under the impression that Alpinestars was an Italian company............