Rossi confident of Australia progress

Valentino Rossi is confident he and Ducati can continue to make progress in Australia after describing Motegi as one of the team's 'most positive weekends' despite crashing out on the opening lap

Rossi confident of Australia progress

Rossi's enthusiasm stemmed from his performances prior to the race, notably in qualifying when he was in contention for the second row of the grid until the final seconds.

That hinted at genuine gains for Ducati, who will carry the set-up changes from Japan into this weekend's race at Philipp Island - a circuit Ducati has finished on the podium in every year except one.

"At Motegi, despite the outcome of the race and what the consequences of the crash turned out to be, there were a number of positive aspects," Rossi, who also has to contend with a finger injury sustained at Japan, said.

"We worked well on the bike's balance and setup, and in the end, from that point of view, we had one of the most positive weekends of the season.

"Phillip Island is another track where the Ducati has always gone well, as have I, so we hope to be able to work as well as we did in Japan.

"As far as my hand is concerned, the swelling is reduced, and we still have a couple of days before we go on the track. We just have to wait for Friday morning to see how it reacts."

Team-mate Nicky Hayden, who holds the circuit record at Phillip Island, said he was also eyeing a strong race performance at a circuit on which he has fared well in the past.

"Phillip Island is definitely one of the highlights of the year, because everything about it is special," Hayden explained. "It's fast, flowing and really fun to ride.

"Casey [Stoner] has won a lot of races there for Ducati, and I should have been on the podium there last year, except that I left the door open for Vale to beat me.

"It's a good track for me, and although I know it won't be easy, I really hope we can do well. I've got Simoncelli coming for me in the points, but I'm not really thinking about that. I'd just like to try to get a good result on Sunday, when it counts."

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