British MotoGP: Valentino Rossi struggling with fast Silverstone

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 15 June 2012 22:34

Valentino Rossi blamed his own failure to gel quickly with the fast and technical Silverstone layout for his lowly 11th place in today’s weather-hit practice.

Rossi had demonstrated once again just how competitive Ducati’s Desmosedici is in wet conditions when he brilliantly topped the timesheets on a soaking wet track this morning.

A best lap of 2.19.328 put the Italian 0.077s ahead of factory Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden and backed up his best ever Ducati result when he was second in a rain-lashed French Grand Prix at Le Mans last month.

But the 33-year-old plummeted down the timesheets to 11th on a dry track this afternoon and the nine-times world champion accepted some of the blame for being 2.334s off Casey Stoner rested on his own shoulders.

Rossi admitted finding it hard negotiating the super fast and technical Maggotts and Becketts section and he told MCN: “This morning was very good on the wet and we were happy after the practice because last year I was quite slow also in the wet.

"But this morning I was very good and very competitive and I think we can be competitive for a wet race to try and get a good result.

"This is already a positive thing. But this afternoon we have a lot more problems on the dry and especially about my riding, because this track is very difficult. It is very fast and technical and you need to have a good experience of it, because it has a lot of fast parts where the corner is blind and the point of braking you have to go with memory.

"With it being such high speed you can lose a lot of time. The exit from Turn 9 and the entry to Turn 10, for me it is impossible to stay with the full throttle and also compared to Nicky I lose six-tenths in 500 metres. That is a lot. And I have also another two or three points where it's very difficult.”

Rossi said his target is to cut the gap to Hayden and Hector Barbera tomorrow if conditions are dry again, despite forecasts of more rain.

Hayden was fourth this afternoon and Barbera one place higher up than Rossi in 10th and he said: “Our target is try to close the gap with Nicky and with Barbera. Nicky's quite close to the top and Barbera is just a little bit more than one second behind.

"We have some problem also with the setting because for me it's difficult to remain with the front tyre on the ground. We will try tomorrow to be competitive also in the dry conditions, so I hope we have some dry sessions.”

Hayden finished fourth this afternoon and his best time of 2.05.353 was less than 0.4s away from Alvaro Bautista in third and just over 0.5s away from Stoner’s best pace.

The American said one of the biggest challenges of the opening day was a strong gusting wind that made for perilous riding conditions.

The 2006 world champion said: “The wind was the same for everybody, but in a big high speed track like this that's really out in the open, it was quite tough.

"Under acceleration the bike would want to wheelie and the front tyre come off the ground and just go with the wind. You can't really dial that out, so riders got to deal with it.”