Valentino Rossi has warned his supporters not to expect any miracles when Ducati head to Misano for their second home race of the season. The Italian squad endured a miserable weekend at Indianapolis with Rossi finishing down in tenth after a gearbox problem.
With the team's development strategy aimed at producing a strong package for next year, Rossi admits he is unlikely to produce the kind of result his legions of fans will be hoping for, but he's assured them that he won't give up.
“We'll be racing in front of our home fans at Misano, and obviously we'd like to do better than we have at recent races. Indianapolis was very difficult, and we would have preferred to arrive here in better shape, but we're aware that much of our work is aimed toward the future. For the moment, we must take into account the possibility that our results won't be satisfying, first for us but also for our fans. We're all working at our maximum, both at the track and in the company, and in the meantime, we'll try to do as well as the current situation allows.”
Nicky Hayden raced in front of his compatriots himself just a week ago, and things went far from smoothly for him. The American's decision to run the softer tyre backfired and left him down in 14th but he feels the team still have room for improvement on the GP11.1, a bike he is racing for just the second time.
“Indy was a bad race, but somehow, some way, you've got to try to get over it and move on. Misano has been a tough track for me, because it seems like I can't ever get through the first corner. It would be nice to catch a bit of a break, because I don't feel like we're always getting the results we deserve. We learned a lot about the new bike in Indy, so I hope we've got a good starting point there. We'll see what the weather's going to do. Hopefully it won't be too hot, as that makes things more difficult for us. Anyway, we need to do our best and try to improve our bike.”
Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi has promised the home supporters that Ducati will be going flat out in their bid to return to the front, but admits they are concentrating more on the long term.
“Misano is a round that means a lot to all of us, and it's the home race for Valentino. We'll have many fans there, and we'd like to put both Vale and Nicky in position to get good results. Naturally, we'll try our best, as we do at every race weekend, although we know that the type of work we're doing on the bike pays off over the long term. It's definitely a difficult moment for us because the results aren't what we'd like, but it's very gratifying to see the great effort and determination from our riders, the team and everyone at Ducati. We remain focused on our goals, and we're committed to following the path we've laid out to achieve them.”