Ducati To Bring Radically Revised GP11 For Rossi At Assen

The pairing of Valentino Rossi to Ducati was a match made in marketing heaven. The combined selling power of the two Italian legends was beyond question, and the very definition of the word "synergy". However, the match also involved huge risk: the only rider so far able to win on the capricious Desmosedici was Casey Stoner, and if nine-time World Champion and prime candidate for the title of greatest motorcycle racer of all time Rossi also failed, then questions would be asked both of Ducati's design direction and Rossi's ability to adapt to a bike that Stoner had clearly mastered.

The results speak for themselves: Despite having put the Desmosedici GP11 on the podium at Le Mans, and currently sitting in 4th in the MotoGP championship, it is clear that Rossi is a long way from being competitive on the Ducati in its current form. Despite multiple changes having been introduced - a new subframe/airbox, a new engine with a heavier crankshaft - the Ducati is still no match for either the peerless Honda, or even the underpowered Yamaha, the bike still incredibly difficult to turn. If Rossi is to be competitive on the Ducati, clearly a radically new approach is necessary.

That radical new approach is to be raced at Assen. Ducati have announced that they will be bringing a completely new bike for Rossi to race at the Dutch track, based on the development work done on the 2012 machine as tested at Jerez. The bike will feature a new chassis, a new inverted swingarm as used on the GP12 - which features the shock mount at the top, on a special upper subframe, as GPOne.com explained in an excellent piece of technical analysis - as well as a new engine modified to use the new chassis and swingarm, as well as a new seamless gearbox, similar to the one currently being used on the Honda. 

Valentino Rossi will be the only Ducati rider to use the new bike at Assen, as the radically modified chassis layout requires a new engine, and the engine allocation limits prevent Nicky Hayden from taking an extra engine this early in the season. Rossi has so far used his 3rd engine this season, while Nicky Hayden is already on his 4th, having lost an engine at Estoril. As a result, the American will have to wait until Laguna Seca before he gets a chance to use the GP11.1, as it is being dubbed by Ducati.

The news that Ducati has switched to a chassis based on the 2012 bike will fuel rumor and speculation about the tests that Ducati have already done on next year's machine. Ducati have already used 5 of their permitted 8 days of testing on the GP12, and there has been much wild and unfounded speculation that Rossi has been testing this year's machine in the guise of the 1000. According to Italian TV broadcaster Sportmediaset, during the most recent test at Mugello, Ducati asked local inspectors to verify the capacity of the machine being ridden by Rossi, to prove that he was not testing the 800 illegally.

It is clear that Ducati have stayed strictly within the letter of the law with respect to the tests, but the issue does highlight the problems caused by allowing extra test days for the switch to the new 1000cc category. The lessons learned from testing the new machine may well be applicable to the current year's machine, or, as in Ducati's case, make the factory decide to abandon their current direction and gamble on the direction selected for next year. If anything, the advantage is likely to be greater for Honda and Yamaha, whose 2012 machines are expected to much more closely resemble this year's machines.

Below is the official Ducati press release announcing the changes:


The Ducati Marlboro Team, continuing its development process with the Desmosedici, will introduce a variety of new updates at Assen. Valentino Rossi will take to the track with the next generation of the bike, called the GP11.1. The design process for this bike began after the Sepang tests, with construction beginning after the riders approved the GP12's chassis during its first test, at Jerez.

For the GP11.1, the Corse Department prepared an 800cc engine that installs in the chassis that Ducati engineers are developing for 2012. The bike will also use a new gearbox, the "DST- Ducati Seamless Transmission", the design process for which began in 2010.

Nicky Hayden, who has already used four engines this season, will use a GP11 equipped with the step-2 frame, whose stiffness has been further modified compared to the step-1 version that was introduced at the Estoril test. According to the engine-rotation schedule, he will ride the GP11.1 at Laguna Seca.

Assen is a track that both Ducati Marlboro Team riders like very much, and one where both have achieved strong results: seven victories and three podiums across all classes for Valentino Rossi, one victory and a podium for Nicky Hayden.

VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Marlboro Team

"Assen is one of my tracks—one of those that I like most and where I've had some nice races in all the classes. We'll try to take advantage of that good feeling and of our experience at this circuit because Thursday morning we'll debut some updates to my bike that are very promising but also very fresh. Filippo [Preziosi], the guys at Ducati and the Test Team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven't had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we'll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we'll have to focus on two jobs: making basic adjustments to the new technical parts, and finding a general setup for the race on Saturday. We'll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we're happy and motivated by the work we're doing."

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team

"There was no GP this past weekend, but the time went by pretty quickly, as I had a test at Mugello and a couple of PR appearances. Now it's time for Assen, which is an awesome race. I have some good memories there, including a win, and it's a place I really like, with a lot of history and tradition. The track has changed over the years, but I like the new section. We've had a big gap to the front lately, but now we have another new step with the chassis. The first step helped with the feeling, and hopefully this one will also help with the lap time. It's clear that Ducati is working hard, and that's motivating for me, for the team, and for all of our Ducati supporters. I look forward to getting my hands on a GP11.1 as soon as possible as well."

FILIPPO PREZIOSI, Ducati Technical Director

"We decided to make the GP11.1, which is an 800cc engine in a GP12 chassis, in order to accelerate development on next year's bike, and also to provide our riders with a potentially better base for the current championship. Considering that Valentino still hasn't ever ridden the GP11.1, this decision could require some races for the team to completely take advantage of its potential, but we decided to move forward with it because we believe it's an important step for our development process. The next-generation gearbox, on the other hand, is a solution that we think will be an immediate improvement. The Ducati Corse Department will continue studying further innovations, both for this year and for 2012. At the same time, we have developed an additional step for the frame for Nicky, and he'll receive the GP11.1 at Laguna Seca."

Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2010), 1'34.525 – 172.982 Km/h
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha - 2010), 1'34.515 - 173.001 Km/h
Circuit Length: 4,542 km
MotoGP Race 2011: 26 laps (118,092 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2011: 15:00 Local Time
Number of laps: 26
Total race distance: 118,092 km
PODIUM 2010: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Dani Pedrosa, 3rd Casey Stoner
POLE 2010: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2010), 1'34.515 – 173.001 Km/h

2010: 3rd (Stoner)
2009: 3rd (Stoner)
2008: 1st (Stoner)
2007: 2nd (Stoner)
2006: 12th (Hofmann)
2005: 9th (Checa)
2004: 8th (Capirossi)
2003: 6th (Capirossi)


Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP11
Race number: 46
Age: 32 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
GPs: 247 (187 x MotoGP, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
Number of Wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi's MotoGP/500cc track record at Assen
2010: Grid: DNS; Race: DNS
2009: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2008: Grid: 3rd; Race: 11th
2007: Grid: 11th; Race: 1st
2006: Grid: 18th; Race: 8th
2005: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2004: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2003: Grid: 3rd; Race: 3rd
2002: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2001: Grid: 3rd; Race: 2nd
2000: Grid: 6th; Race: 6th

Rossi's 250 track record at Assen
1999: Grid: 1st; Race: 2nd
1998: Grid: 3rd; Race: 1st

Rossi's 125 track record at Assen
1997: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
1996: Grid: 8th; Race: DNF

Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP11
Race number: 69
Age: 29 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 140 (140 x MotoGP)
First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden's MotoGP track record at Assen
2010: Grid: 5th; Race: 7th
2009: Grid: 13th; Race: 8th
2008: Grid: 4th; Race: 4th
2007: Grid: 13th; Race: 3rd
2006: Grid: 4th; Race: 1st
2005: Grid: 5th; Race: 4th
2004: Grid: 16th; Race: 5th
2003: Grid: 12th; Race: 11th

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They expect us to believe that they are rolling out what is essentially a brand new bike this weekend with their #1 rider not having ridden the bike at all? Who does that? When has the ever happen? No manufacture would risk the public embarrassment of having a new bike fail or rider not being able to ride a new bike. This "local inspector" nonsense is smoke and mirror foolishness. Local as in "Italian", right? C'mon, and we're suppose to fall for this? If I was Honda or Yamaha would be want to very serious and pointed questions answered because this smells of conspiracy by Dorna letting Ducati skate over the rules.

Accordingly the team are in fast forward mode to 2012 already. Which certainly makes sense. No point flogging a dead horse anymore. Especially when the jockeys lost his whip.

What can we deduce? That Rossi, Burgess and co. are no better than the next team when trying to sort a recalitrant motorcycle despite the efforts of the factory to respond to their requests within the design remit of the GP11. Myth busted.

Bear in mind also the GP12 is factory designed, having been on the drawing board before the signing of Rossi, just in case anyone starts falsely singing the praises of his engineering adroitness.

re: "What can we deduce? That Rossi, Burgess and co. are no better than the next team when trying to sort a recalitrant motorcycle despite the efforts of the factory to respond to their requests within the design remit of the GP11."

that myth was already busted back in the recalcitrant M1 years of '06 (990) and '07 (800). has very little to do with the GP11.

of the debate that Rossi can win or even be successful on the bike that Casey won on and the myth that Rossi/Burgess could make that bike into a consistent winner. We can go ahead and bury that and put it to rest. Case closed.

Ducati + Rossi have enough problems on their back, what they definitely can't use ATM is a major scandal.

Further, the GP12 will be once again an evolutionary step from the GP11, the engine will remain a L4 and with the max bore regulated there isn't too much room for big changes, so these 2 bikes are kind of "comparable".

I would expect that especially the front end problem of the GP11 will be the same on the GP12 if it has the same carbon subframe. I think it makes sense for Ducati to test/develop the GP12 and use the solutions on the GP11.1.

Speaking about the front end problem and the lack of turning - I remember reading in a magazine in 2006 when some ex racers (I think Schwantz and Mamola) were allowed to test ride the 990 MotoGP bikes of 2006 side by side in Valencia. And both concluded that the Ducati GP06 was terrible to turn. So this problem plagues Ducati not just since 2010.

A couple of weeks ago there were statements from Ducati saying they wont have the next-generation gearbox in the near future, Rossi was quoted to have said he doesn't expect major changes to the chassis for the GP11 as everything focuses on the GP12. And now Rossi will ride a new bike at Assen.

As I wrote before, this step also shows the negative side of using the engine as a stressed chassis element, if you want to change e.g. the pivot point for the rear swing arm, you need a new engine. Which of course gives you troubles with the restriction of 6 engines for the whole year.

Still, Ducati + Rossi continue a high risk gamble, even if the weather is stable and dry on all 3 days in Assen, there is plenty potential for drama. But one can't fault them for not trying.

And there is another positive aspect to this news: We will now see whether the new gear box is really worth some 0.4 sec per lap.

When they change so much at once it will be hard to tell from the outside how much of any improvement is down to the gearbox and how much to other changes.

..., but at least we have 1 magic component out of the way and we won't hear any "if we just had that magic gearbox of Honda" comments from the Ducati garage.

Unfortunately, we will not see if the new gearbox is worth nearly half a second on its own, because a great many things have changed.

Same rider + bike + track + day + conditions - only change the new gearbox - that would tell us.

When you change a lot of things at once, it's a lucky-dip. It might work.

As has been said, you can't fault them for not trying.

Like the old saying goes - when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I believe Vale and crew will just keep grinding away until they get it right and when they do, it will be a winner - the tough part is being stuck in the doldrums like they are now.

What I am really curious about is what will happen at Honda and Yamaha? The Duc has to get better 'cause it can't get worse - Can Jorge and Ben actually develop the Yamaha? Can Casey and Dani/Dovi/Marco develop the Honda?

Starting in 2012 all bets are off - we'll see what happens.

Will VR have 2 new bikes at Assen?

I thought he was onto his 3rd engine already and the new one taken to fit the GP11.1 will be 4 and if he has a spare bike that would be 5.

He wouldnt want to damage one too soon.

Stoner can spend seasons requesting/complaining about the bike yet bite his lip and lay it on the line and still pick up wins.

Rossi and Burgess (the guy who said he knew exactly what was wrong with the bike!) have realized they can't do the same, a little more than a quarter into the season.

I'm sure Stoner would never admit to caring but its gotta be tough when he complains about THE SAME THINGS AS ROSSI, and get minimal developments, then to have Rossi come in for a couple months and have Ducati bend over backwards to whatever he needs.

Ducati's idea of an update for Stoner last year was to revert to the 2009 forks and the year before that it was to go back and forth between the carbon and aluminum swing arm. According to MCN Nicky will have ANOTHER revised carbon chassis this weekend. So since Val has gotten there they have gone through the original chassis, 2 revised carbon chassis, and now a brand new chassis. Where was all this progress and updates when Casey was there? When Casey had a problem they turn their nose up to him like week old cat food. And now Val comes in and they are flipping over backwards to hand him updated and now new kit. It shows us the level of commitment they had to Casey even though he was the one winning them races and their first title.

Still, I hope they do find something. It would be nice to see Rossi back fighting for podiums atleast.

burgess wasn't necessarily wrong. the problem is can he fix something (the carbon frame) that takes 3 weeks instead of a few days to iterate through. you guys just can't wait to jump and dance on their graves.

i agree that stoner was getting shafted by Ducati in regards to getting help with the bike, but was it really one sided? was Stoner giving feedback that would actually help Ducati? do you guys *really* know that?

also, sad to say, but was Stoner truly important to Ducati? the one time they tried to get him involved in promoting the new Monster he looked like he just couldn't wait to get over with it and go turkey shooting on his ranch... Rossi is a marketing goldmine. why is everyone *still* acting surprised that Ducati wouldn't sell their mother to get him a win?

i definitely raised an eyebrow during the first GP12 tests when soon after new parts arrived at the next round. surprise in this is over rated...

also, sad to say, but was Stoner truly important to Ducati? the one time they tried to get him involved in promoting the new Monster he looked like he just couldn't wait to get over with it and go turkey shooting on his ranch... Rossi is a marketing goldmine. why is everyone *still* acting surprised that Ducati wouldn't sell their mother to get him a win?

Do I understand you right, you mean when Stoner won with Ducati the only world title Ducati has so far, but failed to be a show talent on the Monster that this hurt the sales of Ducati's street bikes? I mean, if this is true, then the customers of Ducati choose a hollow entertainment show over absorbing the "successful in the hardest motorcycle competition of the world, the MotoGP" message.
And it would also mean, that what Ducati + Stoner achieved with a comparably small budget and what was refused so far to the motorcycle giant Honda is essentially not grokked and valued by the Ducatistis.

I don't think that this is true.

burgess wasn't necessarily wrong. the problem is can he fix something (the carbon frame) that takes 3 weeks instead of a few days to iterate through. you guys just can't wait to jump and dance on their graves.

It's not about dancing on anyone’s grave, Burgess himself put the bar high for him and Ducati with his 80 sec comment. We all know that these 80 seconds have long gone now. I think no one doubts that Ducati + Burgess + Rossi will finally get the Duke going but the "Rossi whispers in Burgess ear exactly what he wants to have changed and the tech wiz lays his magic hands on the bike and fixes it in no time" fairy is off.

I mean, if this is true, then the customers of Ducati choose a hollow entertainment show over absorbing the "successful in the hardest motorcycle competition of the world, the MotoGP" message.

well then you don't know "ducatisti" very well. yes, there are some very hard core racers in the mob of ducati worshipers but they are the minority. the rest are not all that different from your typical harley davidson owner. go to the random ducati forum and search for Stoner and Rossi...

this would be neither here nor there if Corsa would only listen to their rider. sadly, they definitely had the "we know best" disease the entire time until Rossi's arrival. now they're scrambling to get the egg off their face.

as to Burgess, i stand by my original statement which i don't think you groked. the rate of iteration on the chassis is way too slow on this bike. what Ducati needs to do is give up on the CF frame and go back to their roots with the trellis frame that they won the WC with, almost won the 2008 WC, and which they have decades of expertise with. and which could be adjusted over the course of a weekend instead of waiting 1 to 3 rounds...

are a key player here..

They are bankrolling the Rossi experiment and can't afford to not have Valentino up on the podium on a regular basis, and especially at Mugello.

They could well be throwing money at Ducati to get this bike right, whereas for Casey, I think Ducati loved him but PM didn't think much of him at all.

I am basing this on my own gleanings from the paddock, but when you look at the ramping up in investment from Ducati, the funds have to be coming from somewhere, right?

well then you don't know "ducatisti" very well. yes, there are some very hard core racers in the mob of ducati worshipers but they are the minority. the rest are not all that different from your typical harley davidson owner. go to the random ducati forum and search for Stoner and Rossi...

I don't read such sites so I have to trust your judgement. But I still refuse somehow to consider motorcycle customers in general and the Ducatistas in particular as complete morons.

as to Burgess, i stand by my original statement which i don't think you groked. the rate of iteration on the chassis is way too slow on this bike. what Ducati needs to do is give up on the CF frame and go back to their roots with the trellis frame that they won the WC with, almost won the 2008 WC, and which they have decades of expertise with. and which could be adjusted over the course of a weekend instead of waiting 1 to 3 rounds...

There is a very insightful article on motorcyclenews about "the carbon subframe is too stiff" argument, you might want to read it here:


In the article the author arguments that the carbon frame not necessarily must be the problem as such, it's just not understood well enough.

When Rossi left Yamaha, they put out a video with Rossi and Furusawa explaining key things about each of the M1's, from 04-10. In that video, Furusawa said that the last real engineering mystery was eliminating chatter. I have heard it explained that carbon fiber is like a large rubber band, it'll bend, but snap back to its former shape.

I think it possible that Preziosi is going with the CF frame to ultimately eliminate chatter completely. It would be a clear advantage over the Japanese factories that would be significant, as soon as they find the weave that allows the suppleness necessary for the riders to get front end feel.

Imagine, the Ducati, which has a fantastic engine, coupled with a "chassis" that may not be fully adjustable, but is immune to a major problem one can experience and is significantly lighter and more durable. Not only would it eventually make the setup much easier to fix, it would also make the engineering much simpler. It all comes down to finding that magic stiffness.

I could of course be totally off base, and this idea undoubtedly has been thought of and torn apart before, but it could be a possible explanation to why he might want to abandon the old, to find a new and revolutionary solution to a very basic problem.

Picked up wins, yet ended the year further down the ranks than ever, with multiple crashes. Great scheme - thats the way to win indvidual and team championships, right?

Oh wait, he complained about the same things, to the right people, perhaps his direct team couldnt translate his feedback to the factory? naw it must be the more sinister reasons, theres nothing else feasible.

Now what would be interesting is to see Casey on the GP11 vs the new Honda...

Its more than likely he wouldn't be quite so happy with that situation. When Dovi is beating the people he is beating, you know that the bike has taken the next step forward, like ducati in 2007.

Okay, let's link again to the Preziosi interview that wosideg posted earlier as the message isn't getting through:


I'll even pull out the same quote on Stoner's request for changes:

"Unfortunately, I told him we have not time to redesign completely a new bike, even if we have an idea. So, the only option is just to use parts we have from the beginning of the season."

Stoner asked for changes, Ducati denied his request. No conspiracies needed, they acknowledge they they would not make the type of changes for Stoner that they appear to be making for Rossi.

re: "Rossi and Burgess (the guy who said he knew exactly what was wrong with the bike!) have realized they can't do the same, a little more than a quarter into the season. "

words spoke BEFORE he realized how limited a budget they'd be working with. budget only changes the time-line not the end result. huge coffers at yamaha as far back as '03. even moreso during the rossi years.

what is the fixation on digits? 2011, 2012, 11.1, 80 seconds.

When a combined 14 world championships gets wiped out over the course of 6 weekends, I'll discount the potential Rossi and Burgess.

Of course that still exists, although even the most rampant Rossi fan would have to admit he has lost some of his aura this year. The Ducati / Rossi marriage was always going to product a raft of development bits if Rossi didn't get to grips with the Desmocedici. We all knew that the moment Rossi signed, but to wave the white flag and jump into 2012 so early was very unexpected (well to me anyway). 2011 was supposed to be a racing year. Now it's offically been designated a development one.

Those digits you quote, are they not firmly in the past?

Not quite in the past yet, or 2011 for that matter. And we haven't even seen the 11.1. As far as 14 titles and 6 races, yes. But so is 2011-06-20 15:33. Yet here we are.

As far as the white flag, this could go either way. Either they are using up now what they were saving for 2012 or they don't get too hung up on model years. When Yamaha comes out with new parts are they giving up on 2011 now that Jorge isn't leading the points? And I'd hardly write of 4th in the championship as development. What are the rest of the riders on the grid doing if not racing? If bringing new parts when you aren't leading isn't racing, then I guess I don't know what the word means.

Casey was not midpack at best but won 3 races and scored 9 podiums and 4 poles in 2010.
Even if the final ranking in the championship was to be the same (and it will be difficult for Rossi to hang on to this 4th place) there is a huge gap in performance and competitivity between a rider able to win, score poles and be on the rostrum 50% of the season when he doesn't crash and a rider not crashing but unable to consistently score podiums.
In the end they may score the same amount of points (which remains to be seen), and some may argue that's all that matters, but proving that your bike can win races and feature regularly on the podium gives a complete different impression.

re: "but to wave the white flag and jump into 2012 so early was very unexpected."

not for some.

re: "2011 was supposed to be a racing year."

2011 is a "transistion year" same as the years '01 and '06 that came before it.

It seems very logical to me.

If I was heading toward my home GP on a bike that I couldn't ride vs. one that I could ride and liked. Given the pressure at Mugello - I would ask for exactly the same thing: give me the new bike!

Bottom line - honda took some major steps forward this year. Everyone else is playing catch up and can't stay with them.

I would pull out the stops too even if it meant that people like us on, boards like this, said the 9x world champion was washed up.. (not me).

The year ain't over yet - but I sure hope Ducati can make inroads lest we will be watching Parade's every weekend not races

If they need a new engine for this for the new GP 11.1 (I think Rossi just got a new engine at Silverstone that was not used due to his warm up crash - but still allocated).

That leaves 2 motors left? Seems to me they will only use this bike at tracks rossi likes and thinks he has a chance to win at? Lot's of risk with rolling out a new bike in this manner - they must feel they have nothing to lose?

My understanding was that all the teams always have spare engines sealed and ready to roll, just in case, but they didn't count towards the allocation until they left the pits.

The teams have an engine seal and once it is, they can't open it again. The engine must be sealed before it can be used. So, it doesn't matter is the motor has ever even been on a bike, once it is sealed it counts toward their allocation.

They almost certainly have extra motors around but they cannot use them and they don't count until they are sealed.

Dorna and the FIM don't care what you do with your motors once they are sealed - you can seal all six at the start of the season if you want - but they do make certain you are only using sealed motors when you leave the pits.

Instead of trying to find bigger and better ways of taking a pop at Rossi, Burgess, Ducati and (probably) anyone wearing red, why not try looking at things from the standpoint of Rossi, Burgess and Ducati, as Sparky has done.

Rossi is all at sea with the old bike, and likes the 2012 one; so if you can, why wouldn't you make a hybrid with the best of the new mated to the least worst of the old? Makes sense to me.

This season is effectively toast in terms of the championship, so why not do something that can genuinely aid development of the 2012 machine, while giving Rossi an outside chance of some podium glory?

Now what's so difficult to understand about that?

Ok let's talk first about Stoner. He is an amazing rider but what feed back did he give? None to develop a bike you need feed back! With out that you do not fix the problem! Right now Rossi is telling them what is wrong and how to fix it. Look at Lorenzo he went back to last years chassis that was developed by Rossi and Burgess. Also Honda it took them 5 years to fix the bike! That came when Dovi stuck to his guns and got them to use his changes. I think next year will be a wake up to Yamaha as no one except Colin knows how to develop a chassis. Everyone talks about how Casey was great on the Ducati, which is true. But as Burgess said he was on the limit of a highside and Rossi doesn't ride like that. So I think that Rossi will be back to where he belongs and his biggest challenge will be from Casey. Also don't forget when Rossi went into a new class he always wasn't the champ the first year! Yamaha was the exception. And that's just my Two cents.

We have no idea what Casey Stoner's feedback is like. Stoner had already decided to leave Ducati at the end of the 2009 season, and talked to his crew about it in the winter of 2009/2010. The reason he has given, publicly and repeatedly, for leaving Ducati is because they did not develop the bike during the season. His repeated requests for changes to the bike went unheeded, he said.

In short, Stoner's feedback to Ducati could either have been terrible or it could have been fantastic, but we will never know because Ducati never appeared to listen to or use any of it.

Ducati have to listen to Valentino Rossi. If Rossi+Ducati fails, the blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of Ducati. When Ducati+Melandri failed, Melandri got the blame; when Ducati+Capirossi failed, it was Capirossi's fault; when Stoner crashed on the Ducati, it was Stoner's problem. The common factor there is Ducati.

We will see Stoner's development ability over the next couple of years. Stoner has now repeatedly said that HRC are listening to his inputs and acting on them. If the Honda improves (though it's pretty good at the moment), then Stoner's feedback is not a problem. If the Honda goes in the wrong direction, and the other riders can't ride the bike he develops, then we'll know Stoner's feedback was no good. But we can't tell any of that from Stoner's time at Ducati.

David I agree with you here. But I think the relationship went south when they were looking to replace Casey when he wasn't feeling good. That's when they went their separate ways.

Working on the premise that a riders primary job in the pits is to tell his crew chief what the machine is doing at a specific point on track, and not to design or manufacture parts himself, then we know Stoner is good.

From Sportrider.com on crew chiefs and the feedback they prefer from a rider. Lorenzo's CC Ramon Focada (Stoner CC LCR 2006) says...."It’s a rider that for me needs a good group around to build confidence, but (Stoner) has a very good base. He is able to understand things that are difficult. He can feel very small things. Compared with Casey, Jorge is more method than Casey. He is working a lot at the track and away from the track, working always. These are two young riders that have good potential. Sure, Jorge is not a technician/rider. He is never asking what we do on the bike; general things yes, but never the details. Echoing his counterparts, Forcada said, This is not his job. Sometimes a rider wants to be more in technical matter, then this can be worse. Then is a problem. If the rider says I have a problem, please solve it, doesn’t matter how,’ this is very good. He will say, We need to improve the traction,’ but if we do it by suspension, by power, or by the color of the bike, he doesn’t care."

and to put Ducati's lack of development on him is bogus. And the reason why is that Stoner hasn't been the only rider at Ducati for those 4 years. EVERY rider that was with Stoner - Loris, Melandri, and Nicky - are all World Champions in their own right. You can't say none of them can give feedback can you? Ducati not only has access to the feedback and data from their factory riders but also from the satellite guys. There has been nothing that I've seen or read that Stoner is a poor development rider or lack good feedback. It seems it you read the post the only person in the history of bike racing that gives good feedback or can help develop a bike is Rossi. Ducati could have placed a monkey on the bike and with all the data that they have could have introduced SOMETHING to help Stoner but they didn't - they gave him the previous years forks. With a complete change over of the bike, all this shows is that Ducati was arrogant and thought they had a peach of a bike - it was only because Stoner made them look good. And for his efforts he got nothing.

As long as the fans of a certain rider continue to compare Caseys 2007 with Rossi 2011 I guess we will never get any real sense on the forums.. The reality is that Ducati were last alien 2 years running and this year would have been lucky to top 6. It doesn't take a genius to work out that serious change was desperately needed. Rossi appears to be doing better this year(so far) than Casey did in the last two seasons, considering Ducati's penchant for going backwards each year that is no mean feat for someone who cannot ride the bike and has ridden all but one injured...
Motogp is the only support where a rider gets derided for trying to improve his lot not just jumping ship to the new hot potatoe when everything goes to shit...

Rawdawg, it is imperative that Casey cannot develop a bike in order for Rossi's fans to keep him on the yellow pedestal.

Over and over again it is hearsay and fabrication from uninformed armchair warriors who perpetuate the myth.

We should welcome this development, we WANT Rossi to have the best bike, we want him to turn the Ducati into the top marque on the grid dominating the top placings like the Yamaha did, and we WANT Casey to still whoop him and show who is the best, no excuses.

Were you on Casey's team at Ducati? If not then how do you know what Casey's feedback was? Obviously it was good enough to get the setup close enough to allow him to win races. He did give feedback, but Ducati did nothing.

How do you show up with a new bike ready to race without being tested? I guess The Doctor can diagnose without seeing the patient.

The good news is that Ducati may final deliver on one of the promises for bring Rossi to Ducati: make a bike that everyone can ride. I believe that was also the reason why so many changes had to be made to the bike. Rossi is the only person to get this bike at Assen for engine reasons, of course. The other Ducati riders must be giddy with anticipation of getting a new bike during summer.

Battaini and Guareschi probably put the GP11.1 through its paces at 85-90% speed to make sure everything was working as intended. Now they pray that it doesn't fall apart when Rossi pushes it to 95%+.

How do you show up with a new bike ready to race without being tested?

..., educated guess I think. GP11 and GP12 are not too different from their genes, Ducati certainly isn't lacking in computer simulations to compare these two. So they are extrapolating from what they know and apparently all other options are so bad that they're taking this risky move.

I guess The Doctor can diagnose without seeing the patient.

I don't know, at least the last 8 month or so he couldn't.

The good news is that Ducati may final deliver on one of the promises for bring Rossi to Ducati: make a bike that everyone can ride.

That is premature to judge, even if it works in Assen for Rossi it has to show it's potential also at the rest of the tracks. If the bike fails in Assen, Ducati has another big moment of failure.

must be giddy with anticipation of getting a new bike during summer."
I really doubt that outside of Nicky around Laguna Seca, any other Ducati rider would benefit from the GP11.1.
All this development work (3 frames, 3 engines in 6 GPs!) is very costly for Ducati.
This is because they are desperate to get Rossi (and the Ducati) back on the rostrum on a regular basis, they will not care to move all these expensive modifications to the satellite bikes (Abraham is still riding the "winglets" version...)
They may have learned a bit from losing Casey to listen more to the rider's input but most of it probably comes from the lack of results and not being a contender for the win.
Stoner's curse is that he was able to ride the Duke to the limit, sometimes to the win and sometimes to the gravel, then because of his talent and success Ducati never really wanted to improve the bike for him.

I think you bring up a good point. The push for development may not be as much for the purpose of some Ducati desperation to get Rossi on the pace, but to ensure a good product for the privateer outfits. They are aiming to supply more bikes on the grid in 2012 than any other factory. I'd bet they are making some decent money in this role. Though with the advent of CRT options, maybe the return on investment will start to look less attractive. If I were one of these teams, I'd look upon options to cut my costs in half as very interesting. I have to wonder if Ducati are looking to show off their 2012 machine to their customers.

re: "but to ensure a good product for the privateer outfits. "

this could/would bring HUGE benefits since this business model has been instrumental to their success in WSBK. to this point, the ducati has never been good product for privateer outfits in grand prix. it's just been "product".

If the Ducati was "a bike that Stoner had clearly mastered" why did he stack it five times during the races last year and have to wait 'til September for his first win?

He won races in 2009, again at the end of the season, but couldn't translate that into a win for almost a year and had to be pointed in the right direction by Preziosi.


There seems to be a fair bit of anti Rossi/Ducati sentiment knocking about here. What's the matter with you? or are 15 sec gaps to the leader and processional racing what does it for you?

The bike needed changing, Stoner didn't have a clue and it's getting sorted now.

... have no place here, neither do anti-Stoner sentiments.

However, you do have a point; perhaps to say Stoner "mastered" the bike is to overstate the case. However, he is the only rider who has won on the Ducati in the dry, and the only rider who has been anywhere near competitive on the bike, so perhaps it is fairer to say that Stoner is the only rider who came anywhere near mastering the bike.

To say that Stoner didn't have a clue is to miss the point entirely. As I have stated above, Stoner left Ducati because he got tired of never having Ducati do anything with his feedback. So we have no idea whether Stoner had a clue or not. Only now will we find out, with that HRC do to the Honda.

As for the accusations about processional racing, one of the greatest pieces of riding I have ever seen was by Valentino Rossi at Phillip Island in 2003, when Rossi was given a 10-second penalty for passing under a yellow flag, upped his pace to put a second a lap into Loris Capirossi - an astonishing feat at the relatively short PI - and went on to cross the line 15 seconds ahead of Capirossi, and win by 5 seconds after the penalty. If a rider wins by 15 seconds, then that suggests that rider was 15 seconds better than anyone else on the day.

Yes It was fun but as a one-off race, that year there were other races with big gaps at the front and those gaps were no so much fun. And what many people like me fear is seeing the huge gaps over and over again. Once is cool, twice is boring.

One question about this hole "ducati never listen" thing. Had they said anything about Casey comment? I know experience with other riders seems to suport Casey´s side but I´m curious to know what Ducati says.

I see my question was already answered in the interview wosideg posted. And it seems that as expected Ducati has a very different version of things. Like you said we will have to wait to see how thing go for Casey/Honda

Read the link Einstein.

"Casey has been very defensive about how long it took to find the set-up that worked in Aragon. Do you have any insight into why that hadn’t been tried before?"

I hope you realize that a quote from Preziosi in that interview on working last year with Stoner sums up much of the unhappiness with Ducati+Rossi:

"Unfortunately, I told him we have not time to redesign completely a new bike, even if we have an idea. So, the only option is just to use parts we have from the beginning of the season."

Last season the Ducati factory line was that all significant development work stopped at Qatar - after that it was tuning, working with existing parts. This year with Rossi they have just rolled out a significant redesign of the GP11 - effectively a new bike - mid-season. It is implied that Stoner asked for changes and was told to forget it; Rossi is actually receiving changes at a pace that Stoner was told was impossible by Ducati. Doesn't really seem fair, does it?

The interview pretty much says it all: in 2010, Casey says he needs new parts/bike to be competitive, Ducati say no. In 2011 Rossi says he needs new parts/bike to be competitive, Ducati say yes. It more and more looks like a miracle that Stoner still won three races on it.

It's all a question of who you believe, Ducati said they gave Casey everything he asked for and he says they didn't.. Ducati have a great rider so they don't need to cover up, Casey on the other hand has an unhealthy obsession, as do his fans, with making out that only Casey could do anything on the duke and that his development was the best they could hope for. Time will tell.

Preziosi states outright that they were not going to deliver significant changes in 2010 and that they told Stoner to work with the parts delivered at the start of the season. Its pretty straightforward.

Read again: they not exactly 'gave him everything he asked for'. They may have had good reason for their strategy, fact remains that even according to Ducati the hardware of the bike hardly changed over the season.
I certainly don't think Casey could do anything on the GP10 (the results underline this). And development was pretty much non-existent so not quite the best you could hope for.

Like, I dare to say, most frequent visitors of this site, I don't consider myself a 'fan' of anybody, but I think this whole event unleashes a lot of reactions because of the often quoted Burgess/Rossi comments towards Stoner and his team. It turns out they are having a hard time and now this legendary motorcycle brand and motorcycle racer make a dramatic turn. Ofcourse people want to share their opinions about it.

There has always been a percentage of processional races in MotoGP/500's, and the same is true of WSBK. Take a look at the Doohan era, or Agostini, or Hailwood. On top of that, modern tire technology and electronics are making bike performance over a race distance more consistent. So with riders at the level of the aliens who rarely make mistakes some processional races are inevitable. And it does seem that those complaining most loudly about processional races are unhappy because their favorite rider isn't winning.

1 week before Rossi rode the Ducati for the first time in Valencia, with the success we all remember:

Answering to a question about Casey and Nicky complaining to have no updates or new parts during the season:
"I don’t think it’s necessary to receive a lot of new parts during the season."
He might have changed his mind by now...

"I was in Misano and spoke with Casey and Casey, after the race, was really frustrated. And after the race he told me that with that bike, there is no chance to be competitive. Unfortunately, I told him we have not time to redesign completely a new bike, even if we have an idea. So, the only option is just to use parts we have from the beginning of the season. Because Casey have two wonderful characteristics; one is that he is able to push the bike from the first lap and he is able to understand the performance of the bike from first lap. The second thing is that he’s very fast in coming back to an old set-up very soon and keeping the feeling."

So basically Casey said he wanted new parts and Preziosi said that it wasn't possible. Apparently this has also much changed recently at Ducati.

And about Stoner's feedback, Preziosi saying about Casey "he is able to push the bike from the first lap and he is able to understand the performance of the bike from first lap" says it all.

I think the withdrawal from WSBK by the factory was the biggest influence in affecting the budget for this year's MotoGP team.

It is quite likely that at such a small factory like Ducati simply didn't have the resources to get new massive changes done for Casey. Was there ignorance? Most definitely, they did not supply Casey with upgrades he was demanding. Now that they have put all their eggs into one basket under the flag of Valentino, they have to make the Ducati a motoGP contender.

However, taking selective quotes from the interview to illustrate your stance is avoiding the underlying, overall tone. Preziosi is obviously being careful..why would he flat out denigrate a rider who won a championship and a lot races for Ducati? It would come over as unprofessional and look as though he was trying to shift the blame..sour grapes.

I think it's pretty clear to most that Casey Stoner made the bike look better than it was with his riding ability. This is something that was underestimated by many, myself included, and on face value he has been vindicated to a certain degree.

What changes did Stoner specifically ask for though?..Tougher levers and a set of bark-busters? New bars and seat unit? Why did it take him and his crew so long to turn that bike into a winner last year, when the parts used to turn it around were already available?
The old chestnut that Casey left Rossi with a winning bike, while again true on face value, ignores the fact that the CF Ducati was not a championship contender in his hands. Sure he won a few battles mainly at the end of the season when it was already over for him, but never really looked like winning the title race war on it. The fact that he had to overide and crashed so often is testament to his bravery but not his commitment to get on top of the situation. Would this approach have changed if he'd had a broken collarbone for example, during one of the many offs he had? He certainly seems to bounce well!

Rossi and his crew are there to try and stop the rot using all their combined experience along with a new commitment from the factory, who for their part seem to now accept that Casey and the CF bikes results were going in the wrong direction. No one in individual is responsible for the failure to progress, it's a team sport..but the magic was fading.

For me, after all the anticipation pre-season, the spectacle has been disappointing on Sundays and that's not because I have a drawer full of freshly laundered yellow panties, but a desire to see some genuinely close battles upfront and the last 800 title go down to the wire. Another whitewash like 2010 won't satisfy and detracts, whoever wins.

Bring on Circuit van Drenthe and the next chapter in the 2011 championship book. Good luck to the minnows and underdogs, Ducati. Good luck to Rossi and crew for the sake of increased competition and entertainment.

re: "The bike needed changing, Stoner didn't have a clue and it's getting sorted now."

stoner DID have a clue, but i contend internal eyes had already been trained upon securing "golden goose" rossi prior to his retirement. that meant cutting costs and preserving capital well in advance of his arrival. borgo panigale (nor any mfg for that matter) doesn't just wake up one day near the end of 2010 and decide they are going to sign the likes of ross (ie. the most expensive rider/crew combo in paddock history)...? vale's signing was premeditated probably going as far back as '07 when stoner was literally winning the championship for them.

sorry kid, win all you want, but you'll never have the multi-million dollar economic and marketing impact that rossi currently has (even when not at his best). observe, stoner rode for ducati for 4 years and yet no production model bearing his number was ever issued. during that time bayliss got a #21 1098R even nicky got a #69 848. however, fresh off of giving them their FIRST world title in the pinnacle of grandprix, where was there a #27 anything besides a t-shirt...?

Generally regarded as a flop was Windows Vista and replaced with Windows 7.
Ducati GP 11 replaced this early by version GP11.1.
Really,Ducati wiping out their testing time so soon all revolves around the Mugello 800 race,not 2012 and 1000. Nevermind broken leg, Mugello failure may break the bank in terms of sponsorship and shareholders.
I hope they can be competitive in Assen and Mugello,but I do reckon that post Mugello, when HRC and Yamaha test there on the Monday following the race, a decided lack of foresight on Ducati's side will be exposed.
The lump is still an L4 I presume,which pushes the front,perhaps a little too hard on cold rubber. Even Rossi is finding out that the 'winkey warmers' on the grid as introduced for 2011 are not 'comfort zone'. On a dry track...'twighlight zone' until temperature builds up.
I used to jack up the rear suspension on the Ducati L-twins of yesteryear in order to get the thing to turn quicker. Problem was I lost rear traction.
They are doing things right with the 1098R. Is the GP effort and SBK effort divorced within the factory ? I guess Assen and Mugello will tell whether its rider or bike.

re: "The lump is still an L4 I presume,which pushes the front"

are you contending the 18 degrees narrower spread that honda is using is what's making all the difference to front end tuck...?

I´m a little confused with a lot of comments for this post. What does "raising the white flag on the GP11" means or even matters. Are you guys saying that if at race 7 of 2010 Ducati had told Casey "we brought you a heavily revised version of the GP10" he wold have said "no thanks I can win on this one"
If Ducati can give Rossi a new bike why would he keep the GP11? only to say "I can win on the same bike as Casey"?
And for the hole "Ducati didn't care for Casey" I never felt it was so extreme. The difference is that they seem to worship Rossi while they only liked Casey. And also their budget is bigger this year so it´s expected that they can dish out more updates.

I think few bikes start the season the same as they end. And this model year fixation is an invention of car makers to replicate the fashion industry pressures of new styles. New bits are new bits, many at a time or a part here and there.

The testing and formula change to 1000cc is a slightly different matter, but what are they to do with knowledge gained from tests? Forget about it? Pretend that they haven't made a technological advance until the calendar turns a page? Having one of Rossi's bikes with all the new bits is as much of a test as it is an application.

The timing of taking their testing days early shouldn't be questioned so much. Their success of making a far superior 2007 motorcycle was no case of luck. They started early, tested early and ended with a rocket.

It's a credit to the man's stature that he can force changes at Ducati that no other rider has managed to.

This is no simple new swing arm bolt on job. As David stated it is new cases designed to accommodate a different pivot point. I know Honda have historically thrown swing arms and frames at teams until the point of complete confusion, but this is a significant engine and chassis re-design that most certainly was not forecast, nor has ever happened previously at Ducati or any other factory to my knowledge mid season. Rossi, Burgess and Ducati have flailed away all year chasing false dawns and have ended up where? A point of complete exasperation with the GP11 so it seems. At no point has Rossi ever been near a consistent front running pace.

The simple fact of the matter is he has not been able to perform on the bike that Casey won on and left him. Part of the heat of this debate stems from Burgess and his cocky assertions, 80 secs, they start with a much better base than 2004, we know it's a winning bike, etc etc. Big egg on face.

At no point has Rossi ever been near a consistent front running pace.
To be fair, who has been near consistent front running pace? well, without the name Repsol and Gresini with a large helping of hair? Jorge has been close, and got a win when Casey got ploughed, but he has typically been an also ran.

Ya think Jorge would be in second if Marco didn't cut up Dani?

It would be Repsol, Repsol, Repsol. If Marco could stop launching himself into orbit, its likely he would be 4th, or there abouts. So far this year has told us, if you want to win, ride a Repsol honda. Or, if you like that way, knock them over.

Wosideg, Stoner's job was to race the thing and deliver the best result he could on the 'bucking bronco'. Given 800 stats,he pretty much did just that.
Loris had the old trellis 990 within a whisker of the title in 2006. Catalunya blew it for him, but in its 800 carnation, Stoner and that bike were a match made in heaven. Sadly, as David pointed out, they thought it was the bike and never listened to him.
In all fairness, Fellipo Preziosi is not to blame here. He's engineerd a great D16 engine. I suspect,as he said earlier, the screamer is a much better engine and more durable. Casey's 2009 abscence saw the switch to 'big bang' at the behest of, dare I say it ...contrived by their current factory rider lineup. Stoner got on top of that game aswell, latter half 2010.
By the same token,Rossi's job is to notch up the wins for Ducati as Stoner did.
Surely. Excuse lists are running thin.

Well I'm not a Anti Stoner. But I think sometimes he just wants to be out there on his own. I still think Rossi got into his head a Laguna and that's also why he crashed when he was alone in front the next two races. He is a great rider it's just looks like to me he just wants to race and that's it. It doesn't seem to me that he wants anything to do with anything else on race day. I was at WDW at misano and he turned his back on all the fans and was talking to Adriana. I looked like he didn't care. As a matter of fact the fans then told him to move so they could get a better look at Adriana.

Now les not forge the GP12 is not new. It's been tested by both riders and given the thumbs up. The rear swingarm looks a lot like the Yamaha and Honda so it must be the right direction. Also I remember in pre season testing when they wanted to change the front Suspension
Burgess said not to because we know that works!

So let's see what happens at Assen

Motogp is prototype racing is it not, free chassis and you can play around with your 6 engines, yeah?

So whats the problem here, a factory with 5 years knowledge of carbon going up against 30+ years knowledge of aluminum?

Developing is not banned is it?

The Rossi/Burgess development factor?
First you have to understand what you have before you can change it. Is that not what they are doing now, they probably spent the winter tests just trying for a setup, not on new parts.

The results are not in yet but they will be soon, so calling "the myth busted" is far more than a little premature.

That kind of talk only reveals one thing....an agenda.

Enjoy the race, I hope to.

The difference is this: while Stoner was there, running up the front, occasionally winning races and occasionally crashing, Ducati could convince themselves that it was the riders' fault, not the bike's. Now with Rossi and Burgess on board, and having less success on track than Stoner, with a natural finishing position of about 7th, Ducati has been forced to accept that the GP9/10/11 can't be fixed, and so it is time to move on. Rossi's poor performance at Silverstone was surely a terrible shock to Ducati, and has forced them to take radical action. So it could be argued that both Stoner and Rossi failed to develop the bike to be a consistent winner. Or more likely it should be argued that the bike has fundamental design flaws that can't be fixed by anyone. The difference between Stoner and Rossi is that Stoner was good enough to win on the bike, Rossi apparently isn't.

But the speculation of the 11.1 is based on the Mugello test. Which was done with a bigger engine (whatever size) and without fuel limit's That does not say to me this 11.1 is going to be better. it just says the 12 is quicker without restrictions.
Its still only speculation until they take it out in anger at Assen.
It may still be a tank.
As has been pointed out before, its very hard to see what works when you change a lot. or what doesn't !

Everytime the team was out there testing the GP12 with the official riders (5 days), Guareschi and Battaini were testing the GP11, and they usually test the GP12 latest evolutions a day ahead of Rossi and Hayden.
Plus all the private tests without the official riders.
Both test riders had plenty of time to fit a 800cc engine in the GP12 bike and test it in Mugello. So unless it was a decision taken at the very last minute, Ducati knows from their test riders that it's gonna work, otherwise I doubt they would put Rossi in such situation.
The test riders have to be faster or at the very least more comfortable on the GP11.1 than the GP11 before they make it available for Rossi.

Would the test riders not be riding the latest specs given by Rossi from the latest feedback.
wasnt this the first time he had been on the 12 model. so the test riders being on a 12 with an 800 engine seems a bit off unless they are considering it for 2012.
like I said I think i'm missing the point. Thursday will set me straight.

Ducati seems intent on pushing the testing rules as far as they can, don't they? First they scheduled testing on the 2012 bikes with the factory riders before there was a firm agreement on the amount of testing allowed (I know this was a gray area, as no limits were put on testing for bikes not currently legal in GP, so really no rules were broken) and now they are putting a bike on the grid that they have baldly stated is the 2012 bike with a 2011 engine, so really they have used the 2012 testing days to improve their 2011 bike as well. I'm sure it's not strictly against the rules, but certainly seems to be against the spirit of the rules.

Looks to me like Ducati feel a lot of pressure to prove their frameless technology works before the new Superbike hits the floor. If Rossi isn't winning with that tech by the time the bike releases it could be a disaster.

Clearly Ducati are in the margins of what is allowed by the current rules.

I hope they will be more competitive with the new bike and give us more exciting races. We will know already this weekend.

It seems that the only thing a lot of people are looking at is : " Is Rossi better than Stoner on the same bike ?"

Well for me, this is not a smart question, racing has ALWAYS been an association between human and machine ... Schumacher/Ferrari, Rossi/Honda/Yamaha ... we're not talking about tennis or athletism, or to know who has the biggest ...

A better rider is a rider who wins ... Rossi and Burgess realised they can't with this bike ... they have nothing to lose this year and prefer try something which can at least help them for 2012 ... what the big deal ?

And don't forget that the only title Stoner won was on a fantastic bike (at least the first part of 2007 season) ... was is the same thing for the 2004 Yamaha ? ... don't think so.

Finally, this 2004 season is maybe the reason why people expect to much from Rossi ... this is probably one of the most fantastic performance made in any sport history ... but Rossi is older now, probably a little bit slower too ... and his opponents are much stronger.

But "fluo man" is not yet dead, I believe he will make us dream (again) at least one or two times.


re: "Finally, this 2004 season is maybe the reason why people expect to much from Rossi ... this is probably one of the most fantastic performance made in any sport history ... but Rossi is older now, probably a little bit slower too ... and his opponents are much stronger."

no... the answer is, the M1 wasn't that far off from being competitive, there was more testing allowed, the economy was stronger, zeroshift technology was one of the few pandora's boxes that had YET to be opened, yamaha had considerably more cash (YEN) to throw at the problem than the EURO ducati currently has, and 7 years ago the talents of rossi and co. were purchased for less.

Whining and taking the money.

Rossi could have happily circulated around in 5th place or there abouts for the rest of the season, counting the millions in the bank, safe in the knowledge that he will still be by far the most popular rider - knowing that he can have another go next year when the move to the bigger bikes. Instead he has tried to get the bike to be competitive by using his influence to make Ducati make fundamental changes, which in turn should make the races closer - and "fans" are complaining?

Anybody who doesn't have an anti-Rossi agenda will be pleased that Rossi, Burgess and Ducati are trying to make the races less of a procession. Because unless you are only interested in Stoner (rather than motorcycle racing), we've had little to get excited about this year.

Rossi going to Ducati was a marketing wet dream; I would also imagine that the amount of money that it has brought to Ducati (along with the end of their "factory" WSBK Ducati team) means that they can spend far more on development than they could under Stoner. I haven't seen the sales figures, but it does seem strange that I am seeing more and more Ducati road bikes this year and have yet to see a single 11 plate R1 (and I live in the UK).

I hope the bike is a success, Rossi won't stop Stoner winning the title this year, but if it means that we might actually see the lead change hands after half distance then I don't see how anyone who is a fan of motorcycle racing can complain.

Certain Stoner fans need to understand that he will never be as popular as Rossi - he just won't. Whether he wins more races or not. He could win every world title until the end of time, he would still not be as popular. What's more, I don't think Stoner cares; so it begs the question why some of his fans do.

Yamaha, back in 2002, called their 4-stroke effort Mission One.
This Ducati should be baptized as Mission Mugello.

Wether there is debate over "2011.1 testing" will be down to their success. But the updates seem so big and fresh, that it's just not as if Honda had brought in a new swing-arm and updated their gearbox to help their riders get a better feeling with the rear-end of the RC212V at deceleration. Or is it ?

Anyway this move is pathetic in the etymological sense : those guys look so desperate to improve and win - seriously, who builds a new chassis mid-season ? - I am feeling emotive :)
Also, winning back the title in such a manner in '09, after two years of loosing, was frickin' epic. I just hope Vale can pull it off once more : seeing the young-old champ' rising from his knees is inspiring for us, normal dudes, in our own ups and downs. Winning isn't just about winning streaks.

I love that David states "wild and unfounded speculation" and many of the posters here treat it as truth. I suggest that many look up wild and unfounded at your favorite dictionary site.

My main question is why do Ducati still insist on running a carbon fiber chassis? Do they see something that the other manufacturers don't in carbon fiber. Especially from a factory that runs steal trellis frames in superbike it seems like such a leap of faith to go carbon fiber.

Preziosi himself plus lots of GP journalists pointed it out:
as a small company, there is NO WAY Ducati could beat the mighty japanese (especially Honda and Yamaha nowadays) at their own game with the same technology.
Honda and Yamaha have been racing in GP and developing twin spar frame for decades.
With much less budget, much smaller R&D and decades less of experience, it is simply not possible for Ducati to win applying the same technologies their opponents have been developing and racing for years. What happened to the ones who tried just that, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ilmor and so on?
Plus Ducati has zero experience in twin spare frame so why even bother replicate a technology when you know you'll be lightyears behind your competitors?
Ducati needs a technological edge, they need to gamble, to take risks, that is the only possibility for them, the underdog of the factories in MotoGP, not to be perennial backmarkers.
Bridgestone was a gamble after years of Michelin utter domination.
How did that work out for them? Well, a few years down the road and one world championship under their belt, all the big guns switched to BS who became the unique supplier.
It doesn't have to be the carbon fiber frame but Ducati has no other choice but to be original and develop new solutions, it's the only way for them to try to beat the japanese factories in GP.

Rossi will be riding a bike in the 2011 season that he has had extra test days on this year with the only difference being the engine. Is anyone in the media even questioning the powers that be on this?

It´s not cheating because everybody can do it. If any other team wants to use their experience with the 2012 bikes to improve their 2011 ones it perfectly legal. It just doesn't make sense to them, the Honda is extremely fast and the Yamaha need more power.

I've never thought that they actually tested the GP11 in the guise of the GP12, rather that they have tested the GP12 and are now applying those results to the GP11. "Reverse engineering" it, so to speak. The GP11 is in effect becoming an 800cc GP12, and Ducati used the extra testing days to refine that package, albeit with a different engine. Obviously the feel that the difference in power between the 800 and 1000 lumps aren't going to create a huge difference in the way the whole package handles, otherwise they wouldn't be trying it. I'm also quite sure that their test riders have tested the package and at least have had enough feedback that they feel it's worth a shot.

Stoner proved over the last four years that the Ducati is competitive (to say the least! -- in the 800cc era up thru last year, he won the most races and was on pole the most often). And I have trouble believing that Ducati messed up the bike just in time for Rossi's arrival (or that Honda made such an enormous stride forward). You don't need a great memory to realize that Rossi is not the first guy to have trouble riding the Ducati.

As for the question `is Stoner any good at developing a bike`.The only clue to me on this subject is Preziosi often being quoted as saying "VR gives precise information what the bike needs" or words to that effect. Which implies he was not getting precise feedback from other riders, that is how i read it. But Stoner has not got the experience that Rossi has with Motogp machines, so maybe Casey is on a learning curve in this area, and will no doubt get better at this as years roll on.
Hope VR and all the Dukes do soon become more competitive very soon, think the sport really needs them [though not sure if any of the satellite teams will get these latest updates this year]
I have followed VRs racing with great interest over recent years, but i did start to wonder what was going on at Silverstone with Rossi and his team, but in retrospect maybe i was to quick to criticize. Do hope the latest updates to the Ducati do make a consistent improvement to their performance.

I personally don't read too much into the "Rossi gives great feedback to Ducati" thing. With the less than stellar results coming from the works Ducati squad they're trying to paint as rosy a picture as possible to keep the sponsors happy and motivation high in the team. Ducati can't shout about results but they can say that the Rossi/Burgess et al team are providing great feedback to give everyone hope that progress will be quicker than might otherwise be the case.

I really hope the Ducati can get up to the sharp end before too long. I'm a fan of the underdogs in racing and whilst Rossi can hardly be said to be one, Ducati certainly was in the past before the not inconsiderable financial upturn associated with Rossi's arrival happened.

If Ducati wins consistently again another benefit may well be more innovation in GP bikes. As other posters have said, you don't beat Honda by building a better Honda. If Ducati can give Rossi an advantage by being innovative then maybe it will give Honda and Yamaha the kick in the pants to be similarly daring. Here's hoping.....

Have Ducati 'cheated' by getting extra testing for 2011? IMHO, that's missing the point. What Ducati have effectively done is given themselves all of the track time remaining in 2011 to gather data and to develop a bike capable of winning the 2012 championship. They've already conceeded defeat in 2011, and in fact have given themselves all of the rest of this season to develop a bike designed to be bored out to 1000cc for next year. Cheating? Maybe, but I'd bet that Honda are already running to a similar script (although they'll be bagging the 2011 championship in the process).

We have more or less agreed that the fuel limit is a joke. Why are we accepting that the crazy limits on testing which are harming new riders and machine development are OK? I can't belive they are saving money, just requiring megabucks simulations, lateral thought to develop workarounds (when is a 2012 bike a 2011 bike etc). If MotoGP is to be anything other than simply 'sports entertainment' (or if it is to be entertaining sports entertainment) then we need more testing to be permitted.

I am sure this point has been made already, but I am going to make it anyway.

When Stoner was complaining about the Ducati, and requesting changes, he was still winning races. The difference with Rossi complaining, and requesting changes, is that he is not winning races. In which situation do you think a manufacturer would be more likely to make changes?

Furthermore, I don't think it matters if Ducati can see something about using CF that the other manufacturers cannot. What matters is that they have chosen to step outside of the conventional box and try something different. For that I think they should be applauded, no matter what the outcome.

I think this matter is already discussed somewhere in this site that Stoner's ability to ride around problems disguised the true problem of the machine?

Finally! Something interesting to throw into the mix since the Simo/Pedrosa crash...

This weekend and Mugello are going to be on edge! Every free practice is going to generate swells of comments and hopefully insight!

77 comments later- no question Ducati's full court press on development is the news of this season! Excitement in this sport comes from so many places!

Stoner + Raw Talent & Speed + Ducati = Wins
Stoner + Feedback + Ducati Design Ethos = Minimal Mid-year changes

Rossi + Burgess + Ducati + Unprecedented Sponsorship + Great Expectations (not the book!) = Unprecedented Change

Both riders have proven themselves Champions. The Ducati has gotten progressively worse every year since 2007 and desperately needed to be updated.

Development will always occur. Motorcycle racers will always want the best chance to win. Rules will always be bent, interpreted and subverted.

But isn't this what makes the racing so great?....

If anything of a personal nature for either Stoner or Rossi comes of this, it will surely be newfound respect for Stoner by Rossi (already evident in his comments) and a feeling of vindication for Stoner (justly or unjustly)......

Ducati has done what it should do (and should've done) and that is to develop a motorcycle and provide it's riders with the best possible chance of winning. After all, that's why they race in Moto GP isn't it?

Rossi did 80 laps on the GP12 at Mugello last week and must have felt something he liked in the set up whether that be front end feel or rear traction or whatever. The guy was 3.7 secs off the pace in qualifying last time out and I am sure they turned that thing inside and out looking for a setup that works for him so what has he got to lose?

I don't see how a steel trellis was copying the Japanese. It had a strong tie to the street bikes and had years of development. They should have stuck with it.

if next year's results were worst than the mediocre ones this year.
It is really not saying much that Rossi would be more often on the rostrum or may challenge for wins in 2012, that was something expected from him from the word go.
(I'm not saying a lucky 4th early in the championship is a mediocre result, I'm saying Rossi battling for 6th or 7th place on a regular basis is one)

no matter how rossi and burgess try to make it sound, we/they will always recognize their failure in delivering front running pace on "stoner's bike" talkless race victories in months, talkless 80s. i imagine how they must feel having to settle for a completely new design this soon in acknowledgement of the hopelessness in trying to conjure up fast times for rossi on the same bike stoner was dominating weekends on. well, better late than never.

Yes Rossi is great and it seems Casey is better than many gave him credit for but are we missing the best part of all of this - Rossi and maybe later Nicky might be faster which would mean closer racing at the front and some epic battles for the second half of the season. Bring it I say!

Stoner had a race winning bike in the Ducati but as has been repeated several times in this thread (after Jerry Burgess' comment) he was forced to ride it too close to the edge to make it work such that there was always a high change of falling. I believe that Ducati is now focused on building a CHAMPIONSHIP winning bike; i.e. one which is consistent and predictable enough to rack up big points every meeting without the high risk of a DNF. Think of it as tuning a gun with a hair trigger to be just a bit less sensitive: it's not ultimately as fast but a whole lot less likely to end up shooting you in the foot.

I think this explains the "win or bin" pattern of Stoner's last 3 seasons. Personally, I'm a big fan of his for that alone. It reminds me of the late, great Gilles Villeneuve (also #27) who had a smilar attitude when driving less than competitive Ferraris: he never gave less than 100% to win a race but his philosophy, nature even, prevented him from taking a safe podium rather than pushing for a heroic victory.

are we really surprised....really? I had a feeling ages ago when Filipo said that we will call this the GP11.0 at the start of the season. Rossi has tested the GP12, in my opinion to many times to soon, to closer together, it was likely that some feedback was going to cascade into the GP11. The motors would be very similar from a fitment perspective...so if he liked it, why not use it? This is why he & Nicky have tested a lot more than their competitors - they had a plan to use this format probably a month or so ago. Their not going to release this information to give their competitors anymore information. Looking forward to some closer racing.

I can sort of understand where Preziosi was coming from not changing the bike for Stoner, thinking it was a setup problem, not the bike itself. I remember an interview of Alan Carter, when he and Wayne Rainey were teammates on King Kenny's 250 team back in the day. Midway through the season, both riders were complaining about how slow the bike was, that it wasn't competitive compared to the other bikes, blah blah blah. Kenny got some leathers and a helmet on, didn't touch the bike's setup, and within three laps was one second faster than either of the riders had been all weekend on the bike. He got off of it and let them know never to complain about the bike again. Here's the link to it.

The main fault of Preziosi and Ducati wasn't failing to listen to who was on it, the main fault was failing to understand the talent of the people who were riding the bike, which in term caused them to not listen to them. They understand Rossi's talent, so they listen. Hopefully they will recognize their failure.

Perhaps a further indication of Ducati's lack of awareness regarding the talent of their riders would be keeping the same test riders. If they helped to produce the GP 10 and 11, and couldn't feel what was wrong with them, what the hell are they there for? The only reason I assume the test riders were not being able to feel the problem is, if all the MotoGP riders are saying there's a problem, and the test riders are saying there's a problem, it would seem absolute madness to continue the season without developing the bike. So I would have to assume that either the test riders are unable to feel the problem, or whoever is in charge of the Ducati racing program is mad.

Without trawling through motogp.com to look at lap times, and getting into Stoner vs Rossi debates, but has anyone thought how Stoner would compare with himself this year, if he was still on the Ducati, compared to the Honda.

It his highly likely that he would be faster than Rossi on the GP11, but by how much? Would he be challenging himself for the lead? That I highly doubt, considering the performances of the other Honda riders, and the performance of Lorenzo (who hasn't switched bikes) relative to them. So Rossis 'failure' to get wins is relative. The guy is still a 7 time premier class champ, who hasn't forgotten how to ride.

If Stoner had gone to Yamaha, and Rossi to Honda, would Stoner still be the title favourite at this point in the season?

I did compare Stoner and Rossi's Ducati lap times on all the tracks they rode that were dry both years. Stoner is clearly the winner in terms of qualifying time, grid position, finishing position in races Stoner didn't crash out of and fastest lap in the race. In Qatar Stoner qualified in 1st with a 55.007, despite only doing five laps, his fastest lap of the race was a 55.366. Rossi qualified in 9th with a 55.637 and his fastest of the race was a 56.053 which he set on his 15th lap. In Le Mans, Stoner qualified in 4th, with a 33.824 and his fastest of the race was a 35.577, he only finished two laps. Rossi qualified in 9th again, with a 34.206, he did get a faster lap, a 34.273 which he set on the 21st lap. In Catalunya Stoner qualified in 2nd with a 42.410, his fastest in the race was a 43.276 and he finished in 3rd. Rossi qualified in 7th, with a 43.223, his fastest of the race was a 43.709 he set it on his 12th lap, and he finished in 5th, with Marco taking Dani out and getting the ride through penalty, so it would have been 7th if not for that incident.

Of course the thing that any reasonable person would point out is Rossi was apparently still recovering from his shoulder injury during Qatar, and less so in Le Mans. He was fully healthy in Catalunya however. How much that played into his lap times it's impossible to tell. Considering he said that the pain and weakness comes on later in the race, when he set his fastest lap times, one might question his sincerity.

that Rossi is quicker than Stoner on the Desmocedici this year. Of course time comparison from one year to the next is pretty specious with differing ambient temps and track conditions. Finishing position is far more relevant.
Wosideg also likes to cite the slow start Stoner had to 2010. But it was a strong finish was it not? And this is the machine left by Stoner for Rossi - a winning machine. A machine Rossi and Burgess have driven into a development cul-de-sac. So much for the cocky and dis-respectful comments to Stoner and crew made by Rossi and Burgess pre season.

Over and above the points you raise Sircristo remember Rossi did win one race last year with his dicky shoulder. So it is difficult to judge how much of a factor it has been. Of course the Duke is a more physical bike to ride than the M1 which hasn't helped him here. But obviously we wonder how much he has tried to hide behind this injury.

The crux of all this debate to me is simple. There are those that blindly refuse to believe that Stoner and Cristian Gabarini (or Lorenzo / Forcada, Pedrosa/Leitner) can be of an equal calibre to Rossi and Burgess. They are merely there to collate information and feed it to factory engineers to do the difficult part of interpreting that into metal, CF or what ever. Now they have a point of comparison with the RCV - why on earth not?

Of course the temperature, humidity and wind play a factor in the times. However, If you look at Dovizioso and Lorenzo's fastest laps from those three races both years, you'll find this year they were both about 3-4 tenths faster at Qatar and Le Mans, while being one tenth slower for Lorenzo and fourth tenths slower for Dovizioso in Catalunya.

If you compare the qualifying times, both were faster in Qatar this year, Lorenzo by over .5 and Dovizioso by over .7. In Le Mans Dovizioso again improves by about .7 while Lorenzo is slower by about .3 this year. In Catalunya Lorenzo is .7 slower and Dovi is only .1 faster this year.

The obvious problem with comparing Dovizioso's times is of course that the Honda had some problems towards the start of the season last year. Lorenzo should be a decent way to gauge, I'd think.

Rossi did win one race with the shoulder and leg injury last year, but if you look at his grid positions, number of fastest laps and wins compared to all the other years of the 800 era on the Yamaha, there was a clear loss of results last year.

The strong finishes meant little in reality. Casey got most of his wins of the last 3 seasons after the title had been decided, only to start the next season favourite and be out of the hunt by race 5.
On the race times, Rossi was quicker at Catalunya this year than Casey was last year, last years race was in glorious sunshine this years drizzle. The question being can Rossi ride the ducati?? it appears to be yes based on the last couple of seasons. Would Casey be beating the hondas on the duke?? he couldn't get near Dani last year and the honda is a lot better this(ducati have been less competitive every year since the inception of the 800s). So the logical answer is no. Putting him behind what Rossi is achieving. Of course we will never know for sure but there is zero evidence that Rossi is doing worse than Casey would have, and a lot to suggest otherwise. You also have to factor in that ducati have gone backwards every year from a position of total dominance, can that be seen as a success??
All that has really happened in reality is that Casey has jumped on a bike that is top 3(4 if Dani is fit) nearly every session a dominance not seen in a long time. And the ducati and yamaha are some way behind the ducati more so at the moment. I haven't seen anything else happen yet but it is early days.
I can easily see any alien dominating on the Honda, but cannot see anyone beating the hondas on the ducati.. I don't actually think Casey even saw Lorenzo on the yam all last year till after he'd won the title.. Too soon to make judgements but I reckon Rossi not being solid last alien every season after having a couple of years on the duke is a safe bet.. and that is from way behind not way infront..

Let me get this right, you took Rossi having one faster lap than Stoner, when Stoner only finished two laps of the race, and all the other times showing Stoner was significantly faster in every area, and that it is somehow evidence of Rossi being faster on the Ducati? Surely you must be joking.

Stoner couldn't get near Pedrosa last year? That is patently and absurdly false. Stoner was far closer to Pedrosa last year than Rossi has ever been this year. Stoner actually finished eight seconds ahead of Pedrosa at Silverstone which was the fifth race last year, out qualified him twice in the first seven races and did a faster lap than Pedrosa once in the first seven races. If you look at how many seconds he was from finishing to Pedrosa, or how close he qualified to Pedrosa in the remainder of the first seven races, it so easily shows he did better than Rossi, besides keeping the bike upright, as to be embarrassing.

This is not pro Stoner and anti Rossi talk, it's just the facts. How much the shoulder recovery has to play into Rossi's results, we don't know. Although since he has been fully fit since Catalunya at the latest, and his results have not improved in any significant way, we may happily speculate.

Thank you for doing the trawling!

This is my partly my point, Rossi would be slower, and as Burgess points out, Stoner rode that thing on or beyond it's limits, hence the propensity for the front end incidents. Rossi clearly does not want to fall off and injure himself (who does??). And apart from the ambition > talent corner, he has stayed on it, and been consistent - I don't think he thinks he should be 4th in the table at he moment based on his performances, Simo is clearly faster, but through his own issues keeps falling off.

Credit is due to Stoner for riding the Duke they way it needed to be ridden to get results, but whether it be the fault of Ducati for not listening (probable) or Stoner for not telling (unlikely), it is unquestionable that the bike needed to change. And change is happening, although it doesn't happen overnight, just mid-season!

It doesn't really matter what the comparison stats say, even though they strongly favor Stoner, because as Nostrodamus says there are all sorts of variables, including in particular changes in tire compounds. What matters is that at no time this year has Rossi been in a position to win. That is the real difference between Rossi this year and Stoner last year. Stoner was in a position to win in Qatar and Le Mans. Rossi's natural finishing position is about 7th. It is only a lot of mistakes by other riders that has allowed Rossi to get anywhere near a podium. The fact is that Ducati and all the sponsors are paying Rossi for race wins, not points finishes. And I'd suggest that is why Ducati has been forced to take drastic measures to solve their problems.

is the fact he has already used half his engine allocation a third of the way into the season. Working on the presumption (and it can be nothing more than that right now) the GP11.9 is an improvement, then he has but 3 engines to manage over 12 race weekends. Plainly he will have to hope one of those can be flogged mule like for a couple of races and the majority of practice. What if he loses one early? Does the 'old' GP11 get hauled out, or do they break the engine rule whilst aiding their 2012 development?

Then again the thing might be a missile straight from the box - highly unlikely - and Rossi's season could be reinvigourated, there's no doubt Ducati still have plenty of engine power.

To my mind there is no other way to read this than it being all about 2012 now.

He hasn't used up 3 engines as far as I know, perhaps the editor can enlighten us?
and still has all engines in play.

If I was Ducati and the championship was unachievable down the line, taking another engine would be an option..just to upset Dorna and highlight the BS that the engine rule is. Fastest lap, continued development and storming through from the back would appeal more than reducing power to nurse the motor home and play the silly game? Suzuki have done it.

The Ducati is slower than the Yamaha..this from Edwards on the non works Yamaha.


Lorenzo has been whining about top speed all season but from where I sit, at Qatar and in France especially he was as fast as the Hondas and as Colin says he has no problem on the 2nd string bike tracking and overtaking the Dukes. The Duke isn't pumping everywhere..it's just plain slow and most un-Ducatilike.

Take a look at where your off-stump used to be me old pal..eye on the ball, straight bat!

Oh so I've been reading it wrong all this time. Rossi has been moaning about a lack of power from his engine and not the behaviour of his chassis?
Half volley driven crisply back between the bowlers legs for four.

at Silverstone, which was supposed to be a big improvement.
With one GP11.1 available for him that would be his 4th engine (since the new bike is not compatible with current engines).
If he has 2 GP11.1 at his disposal that would be his 5th engine, at the 7th race.
Which would mean only one more brand new engine for the remaining 11 races...

Cheers for that. Will he have two bikes? doesn't sound like it and Nicky wouldn't be to chuffed.

I'd love them to stick two fingers up up Dorna and the other MSMA members by taking extra motors.

I can't see Ducati not having a backup bike for a race - wasn't that the reason behind Hayden getting both updated 'soft' frames earlier, they wanted two similar bikes for each rider?

Given the number of practice falls we've seen so far I think its a given that Ducati will be taking extra engines whether they want to or not.

Caseys fastest lap at Qatar last year was a 55.5 not 55.3. I can't be bothered to check the rest of your figures.

Submitted by wosideg on Sun, 2011-06-12 09:24.

Raceday: 2010 to 2011..

Qatar: Stoner 55.5, Rossi 56.0, fastest lap race.

Jerez: Wet 2011, Rossi fastest lap.

Estoril: Stoner 39.0, Rossi 38.3, fastest lap race.

Leman: Stoner 35.5, Rossi 34.2, fastest lap race.

Cataly: Rossis 2011 race time is faster than Stoners in 2010.

These stats are in the book, are for race day where you score points not QP and are not selective by ignoring Stoner crashing out because he was pushing too hard, too early.

My point was to illustrate that Rossi is every bit as fast as Casey was last year on the same bike unlike many fans who can't be bothered to do their own research..Ahem Nostro! and presume he's slower because of the finishing position
because the competition has moved on this year.

Who's being insincere?

Wosideg, you are being selective by only quoting stats that suit your point of view. It suits your purpose to say that practice and qualifying don't matter, because they unequivocally show that you are wrong. Qualifying is actually a better measure of absolute pace than race fastest laps because qualifying is not affected by fuel consumption limits and other race management issues. Other people have included all the stats, but you say you can't be bothered checking. This has been discussed before. You include Rossi's Valencia race lap, which is irrelevant in comparison to 2010 due to the wet conditions, and you leave out Silverstone altogether. It was Silverstone that showed comprehensively that the Rossi/Burgess bike development of the GP11 has failed. They have been forced to take radical steps because clearly they have run out of options.

As I have said comparing lap times from one year to the next is meaningless. They race for position - it's not a time trial.

The only significant changes from last year to this are Stoner and Rossi. One is suceeding and one failing. One from a difficult, unpredictable (easily crashed) machine to a bike with understandable feedback which he has crashed once through his (understood) mistake, the other in the opposite direction who has landed on his ear no less than six times without approaching a competitive pace or fully understanding why. The 'genius' (Burgess) in the Rossi corner has not been able to find a solution to this situation.

As others have said Rossi's current standing in the championship is more to do with others injury and mistakes. The only flattering comment I can make about Rossi this seasonis he is gathering points - and 11 of those were damn lucky.

The only elementary change to the Honda is a gerbox worth between 0.1 and 0.5 seconds depending on who you believe. The goalposts have not been moved forward by any significant margin. And I say that with all sincerity!

You're right..they don't matter, but it does illustrate he's not doing as bad as you'd like to make out and if you honestly think Honda hasn't upped the game this year, your agenda is clouding your judgement for the sake of a bit of banter..at best.

We've had this discussion before and I said we're gonna have to agree to disagree.
You say race times don't matter..I say that's all that matters.

I have never said that race times don't matter. I said that we need to look at the full set of stats, not just what suits us. If race times are all that matters then Rossi has comprehensively failed, running around in about 7th place, unless someone ahead of him crashes. The bottom line is that whatever any of us think, Ducati are smart enough to know that the GP11 experiment with Rossi and Burgess has failed. Time to try something radical and look to 2012, when hopefully the Ducati will be competitive.

I agree..we can go round in circles with damn lies and stats. but I don't agree that 2011 is a write off for Ducati. Sitting 4th with 12 races to go and new stuff on the way? Let's see eh? I'm hoping we get to see better results from ALL the Ducatis 2nd half.

Yes I don't mean to write of 2011 altogether, but if Ducati is being truthful and Rossi has never ridden this new "2012" GP11.1 chassis then it's unlikely that Ducati will be competitive for a while. Possible, but unlikely. We see in a couple of days.

Race times matter to you because there's only one race on the calender so far that they've both finished at or raced at in dry conditions, and that's Catalunya. One couldn't reasonably bring up the race time of Jerez or Silverstone, which would both be massively in Stoner's favor, because he had both of those races in dry conditions, whereas Rossi's were wet. That's why you're ignoring the qualifying position, QP time and fastest lap in the race. Because that's one data point that goes in your favor. If you looked at the breakdown of both races, you'd see that although Rossi did go .5 faster over the whole race, a truly pointless thing to point out IMHO, you'd also realize that the only reason Stoner was slower last year is because he had one lap in the 1.46, which was in between a bunch of 1.43s, if you remember the race, that was when he lost touch with Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but of course you'd say that that the result is all that matters, not how it got there, or point out that there was the threat of rain in this year's race. Which is why comparing the Race time is more ridiculous than the lap and qualifying time. As truly comparing the race time you'd have to investigate how it came about, which you obviously haven't.

You are correct, I accidentally put Stoner's fastest lap of this year, in last year's place. I went and checked that I didn't do that in any other place and I hadn't. Thanks for pointing that one out. It's interesting that you can claim you can't be bothered to check the rest, yet that was the only one I got wrong, and you could be bothered to look up all those other numbers. Really interesting.

How can you point out Estoril? All the practice sessions were wet last year, then it was a dry race, and Stoner crashed out of the race in four laps. Hardly an even or fair comparison if you ask me.

to be honest, I'm fed up of trawling the book trying to convince folk that Val is in actual fact not doing quite as bad as some would have you believe..and maybe you are right and it isn't a fair comparison, but the fact is he did fall off trying to push.
Rossi fell off and skittled him at Jerez pushing to hard and set the fastest lap on the Duke in the wet when Casey was on the Honda..what does that prove?

What's good for one and all that.

Come Thursday it all goes out the window on the new bike. Let's look forward and hopefully enjoy some closer racing.

It proves that Rossi was desperate and his desperation cost another rider, which Stoner's hasn't in all his crashes that I can remember. It also proves that Stoner was playing it smart and biding his time.

I thought fastest laps don't matter to you, I guess they just don't matter when they're in someone else's favor, eh?

As he sat there comfortably directly behind the leaders sussing the situation and preserving his rubber. What was his margin of victory again at a saturated and treacherous Silverstone......?

So I gather from your last statement you're content with his Ducati performance to date - one inherited podium? I don't think Rossi himself has lowered his expectations to such a degree!


2010 Stoner pole 1’55’’0, Hayden (9) +1’’2 (1’56’’2), Barbera (16) + 2”1 (1’57’’1)
2011 Stoner pole 1’54’’1, Barbera (6) +1’’1 (1’55’’2), Rossi (9) +1’’5 (1’55’’6), Hayden (13) +1’’7 (1’55’’9)

Faster pole -0’’9, Hayden faster -0’’3 but +0’’5 further away from pole
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011 Rossi slower +0"6 and +8 spots

2010 42'50"1 (Rossi), Hayden (4) +1"9 (42'52"0), Barbera (12) +32"6 (43'22"7), Stoner crash
2011 42'38"6 (Stoner), Rossi (7) +16"4 (42'55"0), Hayden (9) +27"4 (43'06"0), Barbera (12) +34"8 (43'13"4)

Faster race -11"5, Hayden slower +14"0 (and +25’’5 further away from the win), loses 5 spots, Barbera - 9"3 almost compensating for faster race.
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011 Stoner crashed in 2010
Hayden 2010 VS Rossi 2011 Rossi 3 seconds slower than Hayden, 14"5 further away from the win, lost 3 spots
Race fastest lap: 2010 Stoner (1) 1’55’’5, 2011 Rossi (7) 1’56’’’1 (+0’’5)


2010 Pedrosa pole 1’39’’2, Stoner (3) +0’’3 (1’39’’5), Hayden (5) +0’’4 (1’39’’6), Barbera (14) +1’’3 (1’40’’5)
2011 Stoner pole 1’38’’8, RdP (7) +1’’1 (1’39’’9), Hayden (11) +1’’4 (1’40’’2), Rossi (12) +1’’4 (1’40’’2), Barbera (13) +1”5 (1’40’’2)

Faster pole -0’’4, Hayden slower +0’’6, Barbera -0’’3
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi slower +0"7, lost 9 spots

Wet race in 2011


Qualifications wet in 2010

2010 46'18"0 (Lorenzo), Hayden (5) +27"2 (46'45"2), Barbera (10) +1’17"7 (47'35"7), Stoner crash
2011 45'51"5 (Pedrosa), Rossi (5) +16"6 (46'08"1), Hayden (9) +54"9 (46'46"4), Barbera crash

Faster race -26"5, Hayden slower +1"2 et +27’’7 further away from the win, loses 4 spots
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011 Stoner crashed in 2010
Hayden 2010 VS Rossi 2011 Rossi 37"1 faster than Hayden, 10"6 closer to the win, same rank
Race fastest lap: 2010 Hayden (3) 1’38’’9, 2011 Rossi (5) 1’38’’3 (-0’’6)

Le Mans

2010 Rossi pole 1’33’’4, Stoner (4) +0’’4 (1’33’’8), Hayden (5) +0’’4 (1’33"8), Barbera (15) +1’’9 (1’35’’3)
2011 Stoner pole 1’33’’2, Rossi (9) +1’’1 (1’34’’2), Hayden (10) +1’’1 (1’34’’3), Barbera (14) +1’’5 (1’34’’7)

Faster pole -0’’2, Hayden slower +0’’5, Barbera -0’’6
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi slower +0"4, +0’’7 further away from the pole and lost+5 spots

2010 44'29"1 (Lorenzo), Hayden (4) +9"3 (44'38"4), Barbera (8) +33"1 (45'02"2), Stoner crash
2011 44'04"0 (Stoner), Rossi (3) +14"6 (44'18"6), Hayden (7) +35"6 (44'39"6), Barbera (9) +1’03’’7 (45’07’’7)

Faster race -25"1, Hayden slower +1"2 and +26’’3 further away from the win, lost 3 spots, Barbera +5''5
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Stoner crash
Hayden 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi faster -19"8, +5"3 further away from the win, won 1 spot
Race fastest lap: 2010 Hayden (5) 1’35’’0, 2011 Rossi (5) 1’34’’3 (-0’’7)


2010 Lorenzo pole 1’42’’0, Stoner (2) +0’’4 (1’42’’4), Hayden (11) +1’’0 (1’43’’1), Barbera (13) +1’’4 (1’43’’4)
2011 Simoncelli pole 1’42’’4, Rossi (7) +0’’8 (1’43’’2), Hayden (8) +0’’8 (1’43’’2), Barbera (10) +1’’2 (1’43’’7)

Slower pole +0’’4, Hayden slower +0’’1, Barbera +0’’3
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi slower +0"8, 0"4 further away from the pole and lost 5 spots

2010 43'22"8 (Lorenzo), Stoner (3) +5"0 (43'27"8), Hayden (8) +27"9 (43'50"7), Barbera (10) +32’’4 (43’55’’2)
2011 43'19"8 (Stoner), Rossi (5) +7"4 (43'27"2), Hayden (8) +33"2 (43'53"0), Barbera (11) +44’’2 (44’04’’0)

Faster race -3"0, Hayden slower +2"3 et +5’’3 further away from the win, same spot
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi faster -0"6, +2"4 further away from the win and lost 2 spots
Race fastest lap: 2010 Stoner (2) 1’43’’3, 2011 Rossi (6) 1’43’’7 (+0’’4)


2010 Lorenzo pole 2’03’’3, Hayden (5) +1’’0 (2’04’’3), Stoner (6) +1’’1 (2’04’’4), Barbera (11) +2’’0 (2’05’’4)
2011 Stoner pole 2’02’’0, Abraham (6) +2"1 (2'04"2), Hayden (7) +2’’3 (2’04’’3), Barbera (12) +3’’1 (2’05’’2), Rossi (13) +3’’8 (2’05’’8)

Faster pole -1’’3, Hayden same time but +1"3 further away from pole, lost 2 spots, Barbera -0’’2
Stoner 2010 VS Rossi 2011: Rossi slower +1"4, 2"7 further away from the pole and lost 7 spots

Wet race