Valentino Rossi has admitted finding it increasingly hard to stay motivated to ride Ducati’s struggling factory Desmosedici machine after he suffered a dismal US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
The Italian had qualified a massive 1.9s off pole position in 10th and then crashed heavily on the fast approach to the spectacular Corkscrew while running in a lonely eighth place just three laps from the end of the 32-lap clash.
His latest poor performance prompted the 33-year-old to admit that results in 2012 were just as frustrating and disappointing as a disastrous ’11 campaign.
And Rossi conceded that his ability to keep finding motivation to race nowhere near the podium was diminishing.
Reflecting on the first half of 2012, Rossi said: “It has been very difficult and probably worst than last year or more or less the same. It is very difficult to keep enough concentration and power, especially mentally to remain concentrated when you understand you can only fight for a not very important position. Last year the second half of the season was very bad, so we have to try and make the maximum every weekend.”
Rossi’s crashed as soon as he hit the brakes for the Corkscrew and was the result of the Ducati’s long-standing issue of generating insufficient heat into Bridgestone’s front tyre.
Rossi, who is being strongly linked with a return to partner Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha in 2013, added: “I lost the front as I touched the brake and for me it was a big surprise because I was going quite slow.
But always this weekend we have had some difficulty to put some heat into the front tyre and I saw the front tyre after 30 laps and it looked brand new. It is a pity because we have had this problem a lot of times and we are not able to fix.”
For nine pages of coverage from the US Grand Prix, see the August 1 issue of Motor Cycle News.