Valentino Rossi has admitted that the Ducati team are still unsure whether their latest developments will give them the desired long term effect after a tough weekend at Aragon. Rossi ran a new aluminium frame on his GP11.1 as the Italian squad continue to improve the machine ahead of next season.
In order to give the team the chance to use the new frame on both Rossi's bikes, Ducati used a seventh engine of the season, forcing him to start from the pitlane, and after an entertaining duel with Cal Crutchlow, Rossi was forced to settle for tenth.
But with the team looking towards 2012, Rossi admits results aren't paramount at the moment but he is still concerned that the desired progress isn't being made.
“It was definitely a difficult race, even if objectively speaking, we could have done a little better than we did. We used the setup from yesterday morning, with which I had done some good laps with a very used tyre. Unfortunately, in the race the rear tyre was sliding much more than it did in practice. It was almost used up just when I was catching Nicky and his group. That said, we're still not where we should be. We're working on several fronts, with short-term solutions that haven't been conclusive, and others that are longer-term and that I still hope can bring more substantial improvements. We'll see what they think at the factory. For now, we're still pretty far, and given that time is our biggest enemy, we'll continue also working on development during the races.”
Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi paid tribute to the nine-time champion after he gave up his grid position to install the new engine.
“This race was very difficult for us, but it was also important because we began a project that, while it caused a penalty for Valentino, is also one of the first steps in the direction of the Desmosedici's development. We know that it's not easy for a rider to knowingly sacrifice any chance of having a better performance, and this gives us enormous motivation to try to speed up our work as much as possible.”