Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 60 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 60 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

Rossi: Poor grid slot due to shoulder

Valentino Rossi, Ducati, Losail 2011Valentino Rossi said his continuing shoulder problem was the primary reason why he only qualified ninth for his first grand prix with Ducati in Qatar this weekend.

Although the Italian has not yet shown frontrunning pace for his new team, he got into the top six in practice.

Rossi said that the bike's performance was encouraging in qualifying, but that by the end of the session pain from his shoulder - which underwent surgery over the winter following a Motocross accident earlier in 2010 - was preventing him from pushing to the maximum.

"I think that without my shoulder problem, which is causing us to lose five or six tenths, we could have been on the second row today, because we were able to improve the set-up by making changes that will also be important in the foreseeable future," he said.

"Today I was able to ride the GP11 better, but by the time we used the soft tyre at the end of the session, my strength was gone. When I tried to do my lap time, there were some parts of the track where I just couldn't push.

"Anyway, we got an okay time and we still have some things we can try in the warm-up."

He believes only Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa's Hondas are out of reach for the Ducati - but admitted his shoulder might decide his race form as well.

"I think that as long as my shoulder lasts, we'll be able to have a pace that's relatively competitive, apart from the two Hondas," Rossi said.

"We'll see how it goes from a physical point of view in the second half of the race, after 11 or 12 laps in a row riding on the limit."

Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden was an unhappy 13th on the other Ducati.

"It was pretty much the same way that it has been all weekend. I just clearly wasn't fast enough," he said.

"We tried something toward the start of the session that was very similar to last year's set-up, but it didn't work. I got back on my other bike and had one decent lap going, but I made a mistake in the last corner.

"We've known since the tests in Malaysia that everybody has made a big step. It's been a frustrating weekend, and it won't be easy tomorrow starting from way back, but we're not ready to go home yet."

Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Barbera sure he can stay near top
Dovizioso adamant race will be better
Spies: Podium is a realistic goal
Crutchlow calm about strong debut
Stoner full of confidence for rest of '11
Qatar breakthrough buoys Pedrosa
Lorenzo encouraged by pace
Stoner storms to Qatar pole
Haymarket