At Catalunya MotoGP, Valentino Rossi struggled with setup aboard the Ducati GP11, but still fought hard for a fifth-place finish.
And now VR46 will travel to Silverstone for Round 6 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship, a round Rossi missed last season due to breaking his leg at Mugello.
But the track should be fresh in Rossi's mind, though; Vale was there last month for the inauguration ceremony of the new Silverstone Wing, a structure that includes offices, a pit lane and modern garages. During his time there, Rossi lapped the Silverstone circuit aboard a street-issue Ducati 1198.
But this was his first experience on the circuit that replaced Donington for the British Round of MotoGP last season.
Valentino Rossi has two major goals when he arrives in the UK: learn the fast circuit and obtain proper setup.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: "Silverstone is a great track that's difficult and quite fast. I'll start on Friday with a small handicap because unfortunately, I didn't get to race there last year. I haven't ridden a MotoGP bike there, although I did about twenty laps on an 1198 street bike.
"I'll have to learn the track as quickly and as well as possible, as it's very technical, with several blind spots where taking the right line is very important. Of course we'll also have to work on adjusting the bike. Anyway, we're understanding better and better how to approach the setup of the Ducati GP11, and Ducati continues working on development. There's still work to be done, but it's clear which areas we have to address and we're all focused and determined to improve."
After five of 18 rounds, Rossi is fifth in the 2011 MotoGP Championship with 58 points, 40 behind the leader, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Valentino Rossi Fast Facts:
- Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP11
- Race number: 46
- Age: 32 (born 16 February 1979 in Pesaro, Italy)
- Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
- Number of GPs: 246 (186 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
- First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
- Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12x 125cc)
- First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
- Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
- First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
- World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)