Riding position crucial to Ducati front-end issue, says Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi believes his riding position on Ducati’s 2012 Desmosedici could be pivotal to solving some of the vague front-end problems he’s experienced in a nightmare debut season for the Bologna factory.

Rossi and Ducati tested the GP12 again in Jerez last week but both denied the latest session had seen the nine-times world champion debut a full deltabox aluminium frame manufactured by British experts FTR.

Rossi said the chassis he tested for one-day in Jerez a week ago was just a further evolution of the aluminium frame he raced to a disappointing 10th place at the Motorland Aragon track earlier this month.

Rossi ditched the carbon fibre concept for the Aragon race having struggled to score just one podium in the opening 13 races because of an understeer problem and lack of front-end feeling.

But he told MCN at the Twin Ring Motegi this afternoon that the Jerez test was primarily to experiment with different weight distribution settings, particularly moving his body around on the GP12 to put more weight on the front tyre.

He told MCN: “We tried to work on the weight distribution and especially to move my position on the bike. This was the biggest work we did in Jerez because we think that this is the main problem of this bike. I want to be more forward.  I don’t like my position on the bike and it is for a long time since I say this to Filippo (Preziosi). 

“We need time to build a new part and I hope that it arrive as soon as possible and we have to understand if it makes the difference. With carbon or aluminium, I don’t know if it would make such a big difference.  For me it is more important the weight distribution and the position of all the things in our bike. I think we have to work on these things.  We started on this in Jerez but the work is long and we have to build some other parts to move all the things.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt