I'd have to say the first and foremost, VR made a epically stupid decision to leave an established team if his goal was Ago's record. His choice!,,, his ego!,,and that can't be forgotten.
I've always written that I don't think that the Duc is THAT bad. whether one one rider can ride it fast or 20 riders could ride it fast,,, It has always been, and currently is a fast bike. And it doesn't matter if it's Rossi or anyone else, it looks like you have to unlearn what you do on any other bike and learn how to ride the Duc, differently, to be fast Stoner is not fast because he is super human, he's fast because he can get the most out of the bike,, adapt. I beleive that if Rossi made this move 5 years ago, he could have "adapted" and gotten any version of the GP.XX to win, but (and I know that no one agrees) VR is too old to re-invent his riding style. In a nutshell VR/Ducati will never see the top step of a dry race, non -DNF podium,, ever.
To me, WSBK is not a step down and it is not full of has-beens. Aside from the three aliens, you could replace some of the current gp grid with 5 of the current best SBK riders and they would finish the same or better than most of the non aliens. What SBK lacks in speed and technology, it makes up with a grid filled with "almost" all competitive bikes. That kind of parity is missing in gp and will cause it's demise (another story). My opinion ? sure, but it can't be dis proved because gp today, is too much about the bike, Stoner isn't winning on Bradle's bike, (but I'm not saying that Bradle would win on Stoner's bike.) And that's the point about Rossi, there is no other winnable bike option for him,, ever. He's wasting his time in gp and It will get worse next year. If he still LOVES to race motorcycles (he should learn from Edwards's attitude), then go race motorcycles,,, and right now, the best racing is World Superbike ! ! !