Valentino Rossi: Mugello race proves Ducati on target for MotoGP recovery

Valentino Rossi reckons Ducati proved in the Italian Grand Prix that it is closing back in on the MotoGP frontrunners, even though both the former champion and team-mate Nicky Hayden were very disappointed not to take a home podium for the squad

Valentino Rossi: Mugello race proves Ducati on target for MotoGP recovery

Rossi came through from 10th on the grid to finish fifth, 11.7 seconds behind winner Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha.

"We are happy with the result because fifth place is not so bad, but also because of the type of race: because I had good pace to the end," said Rossi.

"That is now two races where I can stay on quite a good rhythm to the last laps, and that is very important for me."

The Italian said that one of his biggest problems is now that discomfort with the soft Bridgestone tyres is holding him back in qualifying and giving him too much to do on race days. Rossi has not qualified higher than seventh in 2012.

"We always struggle too much in practice because the other guys are able to improve their speed and their performance a lot with the soft tyre," said Rossi.

"For me, I always have some problems with the front end of the bike, and a lot of times this year when I put on the soft tyre I am not able to use the extra grip because the extra grip on the rear makes my problem worse.

"So for this reason we are struggling a lot during practice. With a better position on the grid and a better start, I could've fought for the podium.

"It's a great pity because it would have been important to get a podium with Ducati here at Mugello. But it's still positive for the team - we are optimistic because the pace was good and it seems like we have a better base to improve the bike."

Hayden was in the podium battle for much of the race, but fell to seventh in a final-lap shuffle with LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl as both tried to chase down Andrea Dovizioso's Tech 3 Yamaha for third.

"The last seven or eight laps, I could really see them coming back to me," said Hayden.

"I gave it everything and I really thought I had a chance at the podium today. When I passed Bradl, I wasn't trying to defend or block, I was only trying to think about getting on Dovi's wheel.

"The thought of being on the podium today with Ducati in Italy was incredible, so to end up seventh was tough to take. It hurts because the team, me included, deserved so much more.

"But it's the best gap I've had to the front this season. At the moment it's pretty tough to take, but whatever, I'll get over it."

shares
comments
Sickness hampers Ben Spies in Mugello MotoGP race

Previous article

Sickness hampers Ben Spies in Mugello MotoGP race

Next article

Jorge Lorenzo quickest in Mugello's MotoGP test

Jorge Lorenzo quickest in Mugello's MotoGP test
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Teams Ducati Team , AB Motoracing
Author Toby Moody
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021