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MOTOGP NEWS 

Rossi changing riding style for Ducati

Valentino Rossi, Ducati, Sepang testing 2011Valentino Rossi has admitted that he is having to change his riding style to suit the Ducati as there will not be time to adapt the bike to his liking.

The seven-time MotoGP champion has not yet been on the pace in testing since moving from Yamaha to Ducati at the end of last year.

Although his form has also been hampered by a shoulder injury and resultant surgery, Rossi conceded that the Ducati was taking time to master.

"This bike must be ridden mostly through oversteer, in the sense that, in order to make it turn, you need to get the rear to slide a lot," he told Motosprint.

"In this respect the Ducati is very different from the Yamaha. But this is a manoeuvre I do to try to solve the problems we have now: in my opinion, with time, we'll be able to improve the situation a lot.

"[Turning is] the thing we lack the most. But at the moment the only way to handle this bike is to adapt to that way of riding, it's the bike's DNA."

The Italian believes some progress can be made with set-up changes.

"There are some areas where we have pinpointed the problems, so we can solve them quickly," said Rossi. "I'm talking about the bike's behaviour when accelerating, the engine's power curve, traction control, and all the electronic controls.

"I'm confident we'll soon see improvements on these issues because the Ducati technicians are very good and I think I've given them precise indications.

"As for the rest, the problem is that we lack handling. We need to try to make this bike turn better: at the moment the Desmosedici has a lot of understeer."

But he admitted that for now he would just have to change his style.

"It's up to me to adapt to the bike - also because we have little time at our disposal to do major changes," he said. But while I adapt, we'll carry on working to improve the bike."

Rossi remains confident that he can get up to speed with Ducati given time, despite being unhappy at the end of the last test at Sepang.

"That doesn't mean that I don't think we can make it," he said. "I won't ever give up, and neither will my team and certainly neither will Ducati.

"We have many ideas, we just need time to work. I'm curious to see what this bike feels like on other tracks, starting from Qatar, and with other temperatures."

Rossi acknowledged that there would be some, particularly in Italy, who would be pleased to see him struggle on the Ducati.

"I'd split this group in two factions: one part is made of those who have always been against me, people who don't like me, people who supported [Max] Biaggi first, then [Sete] Gibernau, and then [Casey] Stoner," said Rossi.

"The excuse was that Casey rode for Ducati, but the truth is these people don't like me. There's not much I can do about it, I must accept this situation.

"As for the other part, it's a group of Ducati fans who have always seen me as a rival, so they now struggle to accept me atop a Ducati. Overall, it's people who haven't looked at this union with favour. These are fans I would like to convince and win over with results and with the races."

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