Valentino Rossi says seventh at Estoril reflects Ducati's current pace
|By Sam Tremayne and Toby Moody||Sunday, May 6th 2012, 16:06 GMT|
Valentino Rossi says his seventh-place finish at Estoril is representative of Ducati's current potential, although he remains optimistic the team also knows where it can make further gains.
Rossi said his performance at the Portuguese circuit, only his second top-eight finish in the past nine months, was down to starting the weekend with a stronger baseline.
"Today is for sure a better race compared to the previous," Rossi said. "In the race I was able to convert the good job during practice, because we started from a better base on Friday and I can prepare in a normal way.
"Today I was faster from the beginning, I could take some positions and stay constantly at the lap-time we expected - this is now our potential.
"This race also gave us better feeling, information and optimism for improving performance at Le Mans."
Rossi said Ducati's problems centre around its issues with acceleration and traction out of corners, and said a new engine solution was ready to be tested in the coming week.
"From now we need to fix some problems to make better positions," he said. "The problems are quite clear: I lose a lot in the centre of the track, because [under] acceleration it is hard to put all the horsepower on the ground like the other guys.
"We will start to work from tomorrow: we have some new parts [and] a different engine to try which is maybe a little smoother in acceleration. If we are able to do one small step we know we are on the right way.
"The test for tomorrow will not be crucial but quite important. If we understand this is the way I think maybe for Silverstone we can make some more modifications."