Valentino Rossi lapped in dismal Ducati farewell
Valentino Rossi suffered one final humiliation at Ducati in Valencia yesterday when he was lapped in his final appearance for the Bologna factory.
Rossi’s disastrous two-year spell with Ducati ended pretty much as it had started with the Italian icon woefully uncompetitive and nowhere near the podium after he slumped to a frustrating 10th place in tricky conditions.
Rossi started the race on wet Bridgestone rubber but with a dry line quickly appearing he had to pit for slicks. Eventual winner Dani Pedrosa had only just completed half distance when he lapped the nine-times world champion.
Rossi admitted he had wrongly not pitted before the race to switch to his GP12 with slick tyres and he said: “It’s really a shame that the last race with Ducati finished this way.
"Things went well in the wet warm-up, and in similar conditions, it would have been possible to do a nice result. Instead, this half-and-half situation was truly difficult.
"In the end the right choice was to use the slick tyres, but my bike on the grid had a very different setting from the other one, so I didn’t feel like switching.
"With the rain tyres, I felt fine at first, but then when it was necessary to switch, the situation became more complicated. There was a thin dry line, but I couldn’t put the bike where I wanted and as soon as I would go off that line, it was very risky.
"I could only try to finish. I would have liked to finish these two years with Ducati better. They were two difficult seasons, but I nonetheless leave behind many people that I enjoyed working with, and with whom it was nice to go racing.”
Rossi faced a familiar problem at Ducati and he was unable to generate enough heat into the tyres and he added: “I always have that, so I had the same problem.
"I had a lot of problems with the front tyre to arrive in temperature. And it’s very difficult to ride but anyway it doesn’t change a lot.”
For six pages of coverage from the final MotoGP round in Valencia, see the November 14 issue of MCN.