Valentino Rossi admitted Ducati’s struggle to accelerate out of slow corners was the main reason for the Italian languishing down in a lowly 10th place at the end of the opening day of practice in Indianapolis.
The Italian, who will quit Ducati at the end of 2012 to re-join Yamaha, set a best time of 1.41.529 to finish 0.132s behind team-mate Nicky Hayden but a massive 1.746s behind Dani Pedrosa’s fastest pace.
The 33-year-old said he was losing much time exiting the tight last corner and also Turn 4.
“Our bike is very fast in the long straight but we lose a lot in acceleration, particularly the exit from the final corner and also the exit of Turn 4. Both Nicky I lose a lot there compared to the other guys. So we have a big top speed but lose too much in acceleration. Today was nothing fantastic because I lost some positions in the final exit when I didn't improve my time but it is not a disaster. I am not so far from the second group in terms of rhythm. I lost a lot in two or three sections and we tried a modify for the corner entry but at the end no way. I did my best time on the last lap with 20 laps on the tyre. But this is not enough and we need to go faster. Tomorrow (Saturday) the track condition will change and improve so we need to have the bike ready to go faster, "said the nine-times world champion.