Valentino Rossi has admitted that Ducati are already reconsidering their development strategy for the coming races after he qualified a disastrous 16th at the Sachsenring.
The seven-time MotoGP World Champion has been running a 2012 chassis modified to the 800cc regulations as the Italian squad look to close the gap on the likes of Yamaha and Honda, but the plan has backfired in recent events.
The bike, officially titled the GP11.1, suffered reliability problems on Friday and didn't give Rossi sufficient confidence at the front-end to push to the limit in qualifying. Rossi admitted that the team will consider whether to continue with their current specification once the weekend is over.
“Naturally, we're very disappointed, but we really can't say that we haven't tested because here we had four sessions with normal weather, and we tried many things. We're thinking about a solution for the coming races in order to resume the positive improving trend that we were on until Barcelona.”
“Today we obviously had some big problems; or rather we haven't managed to find a good compromise between the improved traction and acceleration that we've achieved with this bike, and front-end confidence, which is still missing. I'm not able to load the front and make it work like I can with the GP12 engine in the same chassis, which is why we've been so slow and are so far back.”
Nicky Hayden continued on board the GP11 and managed to secure eighth on the grid, but was disappointed to have missed out on the top six which he had threatened to be in through free practice.
“I had hoped to be on the second row here, because I've been in the top six all weekend until this afternoon, and we know qualifying is so important at this track. Yesterday I had better grip when the track was cooler in the morning, and it was the same thing again today. When the track temperature comes up in the afternoon, I begin pushing the front. I'm not really happy with my lap time or my position. This morning I did 1:22.5 on a used soft tyre from yesterday, and I only managed a little better in qualifying.”
“The team has done a good job because they found me some extra rear grip, which is so important around here, but then we just can't find that front grip that we really need. There's no doubt that it will be tough, but we'll try to do something tomorrow when it counts.”