Though home race for Rossi
Valentino Rossi's house in Tavullia is just fifteen kilometers separate the Misano circuit.
This is his kingdom, but this time the fans won't see an glorious Rossi, especially following the disastrous result at Indy. "I'm just a few feet from my house, and there will be many fans here to fight alongside myself and the team. I want to get a good result for them as well."VALENTINO ROSSI
"We should be back to normal here in terms of asphalt conditions and temperatures, but it will be a difficult race both physically and technically, as we try to find the right setup. We need time before we take another step forward. Ducati has a lot of ideas, but the new bike will only be seen at the Valencia test, following the season ending race."
"Don't expect miracles any time soon. We have some projects in the works, some short-term and others long-term. Everything that can possibly be tested will be tried on track, but not the chassis solution for 2012."
When will we know about that?
"You know we never tell you the truth, anyway," he joked.
What's certain is that something big is in the works.
"The definitive bike will be on track for the season opening race next year; we are only at the first stage of evolution. This year we started over from zero and questioned every part of the bike, because our bike was not suited to the riding style of Valentino Rossi and the rest of our riders."
And while the engine has never come into question, several chassis solutions have been tried.
"We changed the rigidity of our chassis, making it more flexible. Almost everyone like it better, but not Abraham and Barbera, who continued using the stiffer version. Every rider has his own preferences, but with the bike we are building everyone will be faster."
The Ducati engineer also defended the team's decision to use a carbon fiber chassis:
"In 2007, both Melandri and Stoner preferred it to the aluminum version. It was designed based on the feedback from riders who complained of excessive flex in the previous version. It's normal to follow the indications of your fastest rider."
Today that rider is named Valentino Rossi:
"Thus far all of the modifications we tried have been well received by Valentino and Nicky, and indeed they are using them in the races, but unfortunately they weren't enough to close the gap to our rivals. I would be advantageous to us if there were more test days, but I don't think our competitors would allow that, especially because they know Valentino. Our main issue is not the amount of testing time, but interpreting all the data and taking the appropriate measures."