Valentino Rossi On Ducati: "Biggest Frustration Is Having Same Problems We Had At Valencia 2010 Test"

Valentino Rossi spoke on Sunday of the frustration he has suffered over the past two years with Ducati. After two years with the iconic Italian factory, the gap to the front runners remains the same, and the problems Rossi noted at the first test in Valencia 2010 are still there. Now, he told the press, his focus is on riding the Yamaha M1 again, to assess just what the damage of his two years at Ducati has been. Whether any of the riders heading to Ducati for 2013 would be able to master the Ducati was still open, Rossi said.

The Italian was philosophical after the race at Phillip Island, having finished a mediocre seventh, some 37 seconds behind the winner at a track where Rossi once won five years in a row. He brushed off the question of whether the result was a bad one or not with a quip. "I expected more! Yesterday, I was 2 seconds behind, 2 seconds for 27 laps, I expect 54 seconds! So was a good race," Rossi joked.

Rossi's previous record at Phillip Island was outstanding, but even after two years on the bike, Rossi said, he still failed to understand how come Casey Stoner was so successful on the Ducati where everyone else failed. "Casey was the only one rider who could be fast with the Ducati," Rossi told reporters. "All the other guys that tried have destroyed, not his career but his mind... So congratulations to Casey. But two years ago, I still don't understand why there is this difference between Stoner and the other Ducati riders, and after two years that I ride the Ducati I still don't understand." Rossi did not believe his time on the Ducati had caused him the same problems, however. When asked if the experience had, in his own words, destroyed his mind, Rossi replied "I don't think so. Especially because I have another chance."

His time with Ducati, which had been heralded as a match made in heaven between two Italian icons, the legendary Ducati brand and the nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, had been much tougher than he had hoped for. "It was very tough, very difficult two seasons," Rossi said. The most difficult part had been the lack of progress made, despite the many changes made to the Ducati. Rossi characterized the period as "especially very frustrating." Little had changed in the last two years, Rossi said. "The bigger frustration, apart from the bad results and the bad feeling, is that more or less we have the same problem with this bike after two years that we had in Valencia in 2010. And sometimes you have the feeling that you waste your time. This is the bigger frustration."

Despite his frustration, saying goodbye to the people at Ducati would be hard, Rossi added. "I think it will be very emotional at Valencia, because I find a good atmosphere and good people to work with and to make the race together. And I always make a group with my team, not for choice, but because it's like this, maybe it's my character, and for sure will be very hard to say ciao to the guys. But at the same time, you know, we are not able to achieve any good result, so is a good decision for me, and I cannot wait to ride the M1." Despite his results on the Ducati, Rossi felt his career had not lost its shine. This was the first wrong career choice he had made, Rossi told reporters. "In all my career, I never miss a choice. Now I miss one choice. "

Rossi admitted that he was nervous about going back to Yamaha, despite being sure of his decision. "I think I can give to Yamaha a very important support to improve the bike. I am sure of this 100%. Because between me and Yamaha was the perfect match, in the way to work and to improve the bike. I'm not sure if I'm able to stay at the same level as Lorenzo and Pedrosa, and fight for win races and for win championships, you know? Sincerely, I don't know, so I have to try the bike before. But we have two years, and if we want to try, the test in Valencia will be very important to understand, but after we have to work, my team have to give the maximum, Jeremy [Burgess] have to give the maximum, everybody have to give 100% for improve, fix the problems, improve our level, to fight, especially with Lorenzo on the same bike, that now is the world champion."

The advantage Rossi had was that he was returning to Yamaha as the number two rider, a position which gives him much more freedom. "You know, we are number two. And usually the number one is in the more difficult position, because the number one - in this case Lorenzo and Pedrosa - was like me with Lorenzo in 2008 and 2009. If you arrive in front, OK, is normal. But if you arrive behind suddenly you have some problems."

The question of which of the new bunch of riders would do best on the Desmosedici intrigued Rossi as much as any outside observer. Andrea Dovizioso had a proven track record, while Andrea Iannone had no expectations created by having spent time on a Japanese bike. Ben Spies could also be an interesting prospect on the bike, in Rossi's assessment."I think is interesting also waiting for Spies, but with the injury, I think we have to wait until next year. First, is interesting to understand Dovi and Iannone compared to Hayden. And also to understand between Dovi and Iannone, because Dovi have more experience on the MotoGP, on the other hand, Iannone have no experience of MotoGP, but never ride a Honda and Yamaha. Maybe can be a small advantage, I don't know. I'm not sure of this. But can be different. Because for sure the Japanese bikes are different to ride, and Iannone coming from Moto2, never ride the Japanese bikes, so his mind is more open, empty," Rossi said.

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One thing is sure. Rossi has changed a lot. Which could even turn out to be a good thing. I believe on a human level Ducati has been a great experience for him and he is much more mature.

With Rossi or without him at the front I am not sure next year will be any better than the last couple ... same bikes, same rules more or less. But of course we can always hope!

There is no doubt the last 2 years has been a waste but who has it been a waste for?

Ducati has spent a huge amount of money to end up in the same place. A bike no one can ride. Rossi has been paid a huge amount of money to deliver a bike that anyone can ride.

In simple terms I think it is Ducati who have wasted their time. It is easy to see how the situation came about if one is prepared to accept that some things are myths.

Some will believe that Rossi has been humbled, has changed but this interview proves that Rossi himself still believes the myth. He talks about fixing the Yamaha. WTF? The Yamaha is the WC bike. It ain't broke! In satellite guise it has stepped onto the podium multiple times with both of its riders. It ain't broke!

Lorenzo and his team have worked over the past 2 years to fix the one problem with the Yamaha that in my opinion is a result of Rossi's lead. A weak engine. Rossi has always picked the soft option with the engine. Lorenzo and his team have worked hard pushing Yamaha to bring a bigger gun to the fight. They succeeded and the 2012 WC is their reward.

Yamaha don't need Rossi for development. They need him for money. End of story.

Rossi has not been humbled. I expect him to arrive at Yamaha with political guns blazing.

Looks like a 9 time WC trying to get the ducati to work unsuccessfully for the last 2 years out of not many left in his distinguished career, is not a waste of time for you.If Ducati paid big money to get rossi i.e they wanted rossi after stoner had enough dealing with their lack of R&D. But rossi also wanted to try something new after having success with the jap bikes, so saying that ducati wasted time and money is in my opinion wrong.

Using you logic we can also say stoner wasted some of the years of his life on the ducati and he could have achieved much more on other bikes.And nobody looks at haydens performance in this period, after all he is a WC too but everyone focuses on lack of results from rossi comparing 9 WC's to 1 WC (hayden must be lower in talent according to you?). The only thing which is proved that stoner has 'superhuman' talent, proved by rossi and hayden and capirossi and melandri's performances on 'essentially' the same bikes over the years.

I don't know which part of "support to improve the bike" you don't understand properly. Even yamaha would know that they have to keep improving the bike every race in order to win WC's. The fact that lorenzo was pushed to the limit and beyond this season shows that it still has some margin to improve. Obviously you hate the fan image of rossi as a developmental genius but he himself has said time and again that he is not and engineer but yamaha by hiring him have proved that his extensive exp as a rider would be good for their bike.You are nobody to tell him or yamaha that his hiring was a "waste of time",they know better than you.

Yamaha has 'weak' engine due to rossi? are you kidding me! A weak engine is when you have rossi on m1 and stoner on GP7 at shanghai 2007. If you have a clip from race (i could not find one) i can clearly remember we can see rossi being able to pass stoner in the turns but stoner passing him (with a couple of bike lengths) back on the long back straight there. There was such a big difference in top speeds it was ridiculous. Compared to that yamaha has improved much, but that is for the 1000 and we are talking about 800's which were much better 2007 onwards.

If you wanted to prove you point that rossi was a big mouth and he talked trash and his work was useless and he is a financial drag for any team, then you succeed in your ignorant opinion. Nobody is likely to endorse such a one sided view.

Try debating the subject instead of attacking the writer! Your opinion will be valued more. Fanatacism is not cool, don't be so aggressive.

There are plenty of Mototgp fans that would agree with Mental Anarchist's point. And plenty of people think it's pretty poor form for a rider getting paid that much money to publicly bag his sponsor. He can put it in a book after he leaves Ducati. Pesonally I reckon Ducati wasted their money, but that's just my opinion.

He pretty much debated the ideas. You must agree with the original writer to make such a comment! He debated them so well you were perturbed I rekon....

That's not true. He clearly attacked the writer and there was no real debate. I clearly stated that in general I agreed with the original post. I also understand the point RZ5 is trying to make, but he can make that point without the aggressive attack. There is no reason for the unnecessarily aggressive post.

I will only pick up on one of your points, RZ500.

Rossi had no problem building the myth that he develops bikes whilst the bikes were good. But as soon as the bike was bad and the feedback he was giving was not improving it then he was very quick to shout from the roof tops that he is not an engineer.

Rossi has a history of taking the credit for anything good and throwing anyone he can under the bus when it all goes bad.

Before he went to Ducati, I said elsewhere that Ducati are in trouble and in a lose:lose situation because if Rossi wins it will be because of Rossi. But f Rossi loses it will 100% be Ducati's fault. I was proven right after the first test for the 2011 season and I am still being proven right today.

Of coarse. You are 100% correct and it is 100% my point. For years Rossi and the media built a myth that Rossi develops bikes, that he is the best developer in the business. It was portrayed as though he was actually on the CAD doing the work. The Rossi fan, particularly those that are fans of the idol rather than motorbike racing fell for it. However as soon as the myth no longer worked for him he debunked it. I think that if he wants credit for the Yamaha then he also must take responsibility for the Ducati.

However, in the interview in this article he makes out as though he is going to come back to Yamaha and fix/develop the bike. Which is why I said he has not changed at all.

In his Honda/Yamaha years, I never heard Rossi say 'it's not just me, it's a whole team that develops the bike'. He was happy to take all credit.

...want to go back and read his celebrative t-shirt (still in Honda 2WC I don't remember ... Google will know it) about the importance of the team and the package. It's written not only said.
I do agree he overestimated the importance of Jeremy over the factory ... but it's not me over there so I maybe wong.

Funny, that's not what the Boppers have been bleating about for the last decade. How many times have you heard, "Valentino developed the bike into a winner!"? If I had a dollar.....

It's a preponderant feature of homo sapiens sapiens :) nevermind!

The idea that because the Yam has a few less horsepower than the Ducati and Honda it is therefore 'weaker' is a very flawed view. The engine concept clearly works well, having won 4 out of the last 5 world championships. What it gives away in power it more than makes up for in rideability. And it's certainly not slow in a straight line either. But The most important characteristic of any racing motorcycle is how well it gets through turns, and the Yamaha engine and chassis combination allows the rider to carve through bends beautifully. People continue to talk about the 'advantage' Stoner had with the 2007 Ducati engine. And in some ways they are right, it was an advantage but only to Casey Stoner, cos nobody else could ride the manic screamer engined beast! Rossi asked for Ducati to reduce the horsepower of their bike this year for precisely that reason, it was fast in a straight line but intimidating to try and apply in corners. This is why the Yamaha engine is perhaps the best donk out there, unless your name is Casey Stoner.

Ben Spies said Stoner does things on a bike evn other GP winners marvel at. He is simply not a relevant benchmark as to what does or doesn't make a good motorcycle, cos he does things other riders can't do.

It's not a flawed idea. They have always tried for more rideabilty with the caveat that they will give away top end power. Read any interview with Furusowa. Their superior corner entry is from chassis design and electronics. Exit is just as important to corner entry. The yamaha isn't as good as the Honda. Do your research. Also, I think it was Matt Oxley who stated Honda isn't happy until they are making the most power.

re: "Ducati has spent a huge amount of money to end up in the same place."

well no, not in the SAME place. they increased sales, the states became their #1 focus, and globally they nudged their market share a few points higher. warren buffet would have an entirely different read on this.

re: "Lorenzo and his team have worked over the past 2 years to fix the one problem with the Yamaha that in my opinion is a result of Rossi's lead. A weak engine."

sorry, but after 7 years of development and an absolute ducati ass-kicking in the first year of 800's and furusawa still on staff, there was nothing left on the table.

re: "Rossi has always picked the soft option with the engine. Lorenzo and his team have worked hard pushing Yamaha to bring a bigger gun to the fight."

the "bigger gun" for the crossplane actually came courtesy of the 200cc increase. that's part reason why rossi wanted back at yamaha. he already had an A/B comparison between a liter crossplane and a crossplane in 800cc trim (weak sauce). he knew how formidable the 990 was (stymied honda's V5 shock and awe campaign this), so a full 1000 with all the data from the past 8 years injected in to it (pun intended), would make for rossi's wet dream.

watch his body language and interviews post the valencia test, the dude's going be absolutely beside himself. ya just might see what a lanky italian looks like...? when a lanky italian starts breakdancing...? :)

When Rossi said on Italian TV just before he moved to Ducati that Stoner was : 'a madman, keeps making the same mistake', he was in part correct: Stoner's 'mistake' was getting on the damn things in the first place, everything else followed from that. Rossi knows that now, and his statements now about Stoner's riding are as fair enough of a retraction as one could ask - props to Rossi for the grace to say what he has.

However, the needling and the damage done to Stoner's reputation as a rider / developer (whatever sort of mythical creature that is supposed to be when applied to a rider) will never be re-appraised by the caterwauling coterie of blind Stoner-bashers that exists: those who, in particular, cling to the 'Stoner always complained about the bike, never admitted it was his fault' catechism. Well, Rossi has walked on the pit of fire that is trying to ride the Ducati competitively, and hopefully will limp away and like Melandri, re-invigorate his career and bring enjoyment back to motocycle racing fans.

Back at Bologna, Ducati execs. can still walk past the pictures of their motoGp race and WC winners, and notice a depressing similarity to the face in most of the shots. They can sit over their grappa and reminiscence about the days when there were 'Ducati tracks' to celebrate. And they can practice saying 'STFU' to any Marlboro executive who has a bright idea about replacing any future rider who is delivering good results if he needs a bit of time out to fix his health issues.

a Stoner supporter before.

It would appear however, that he has seen the error of his ways. And now appreciates his forthright, tell it like it is, manner.

" Brilliant. Not only is Stoner one of the fastest riders in this generation of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, but he has the most rapier-like tongue among current riders in MotoGP. Both skills will be missed. "

We, the faithful, appreciate that.He just need to amend his comment to " .....THE fastest in this generation ......"

Not quite sure you visit Superbike Planet too often yourself, or you would have notice Dean get his hooks into Casey plenty of times in the past. He's never shown Stoner any love until recently. But it's nice to see him being a little fairer in his opinion.

Forgive my cynicism, but I rather doubt he's found some hidden source of Universal Truth and Understanding. Rather, I suspect he's just doing what 90% of the MotoGP 'Journalists' do - following the herd.

Have you read the article on soup? Rossi's fault for the electronics? Casey simply hates Rossi and says things that only he thinks are true. Even the unassailable Mat Oxley stated that Casey sometimes has his own version of reality. I think 2008 at Laguna Seca still stings...

"Even the unassailable Mat Oxley stated that Casey sometimes has his own version of reality. I think 2008 at Laguna Seca still stings..."

Here's what stings - written by none other than our very own DE:

"After their legendary and heart-stopping duel at Laguna Seca, Rossi had felt he had the measure of the Australian, beating Stoner more often than not and taking the 2008 and 2009 titles. Once he realized that throughout that period, Stoner had been bringing a knife to a gunfight and still regularly beating him – even after the introduction of the spec tire – Rossi must have asked questions of his own ability."

Much was made at the time of Stoner's furious reaction in parc ferme and that has gone into myth and legend as the entire story of that race. What has not been recognised - but is on video record - is that by the time they were on the podium, there were smiles and banter between them both. Stoner has never resiled from his comments that 'some of the passes were too hard' - and the video evidence of the race shows that on two occasions Rossi made off-track excursions and came back requiring Stoner to take evasive action to stop a crash that would have taken them both out.

It is up to the interpretation of the riders concerned whether that is 'fair play' or 'excessive' - Stoner thinks the latter, Rossi thinks the former and other exchanges in Rossi's career (see also Gibernau, Lorenzo..) suggest that he has a more robust set of criteria. Neither are necessarily wrong - it boils down to differences in approach. Too many armchair experts have decided that one or the other set of criteria is immutable lore.

Only the riders themselves have the experience to make the judgement of what they consider is the right way to play the game. It is their bodies - and sadly, sometimes lives - that can hinge on the actions of their fellow riders.

The enduring idea that L.S '08 in some way broke Stoner mentally is frankly ridiculous - his record shows that. Watch P.I. '09 to see him racing Rossi wheel-to-wheel on the fastest track on the circuit and you can see that he had taken on board the lesson he was handed and return it to the teacher. L.S '08 was a cage fight, P.I. '09 was Marquis of Queensbury rules, but any festering sore was settled that day. They have both moved on - but it seems that some of the 'fans' have not.

In the same vein as Rossi's "same mistake" comment, soon before Rossi's move from Yamaha Burgess commented that Stoner and his team had "no plan B".

Both implied fault in the rider/team - an innocent enough analysis from a distance. But Burgess has since clarified his position from experience with the vehicle: the bike's faults left no avenue for mitigation; go hard and get it right, or fail trying.

When Stoner was leading with a gap on the Ducati he wouldn't manage a gap but continue to thrash it out. While this was gold for commentators, it was another reflection of the reality that the bike had no ability to do 95%: then it would fail.

I think it's time to forgive the Rossi fans who made such comments. When we learned the reality of the situation, we gave Stoner his due. It's an idea that you seem to like to cherish that we still "cling to the 'Stoner always complained about the bike, never admitted it was his fault' catechism". Nobody with a good grasp of reality still thinks such nonsense.

I think the 'adventure has been a waste for both Ducati and Valentino, it would seem that the problems are more deep rooted than just the miriad of fixes which have been thrown at the bike.
Perhaps there has been an unwillingness to completely redesign the bike, who knows?
From Rossi and Burgess' points of view, they can only apply set up and make suggestions for changes, the impetus must come from the designers and factory engineers.
When Rossi talks about sorting the M1, I think he is talking about the issues which arise over a race or testing weekend. His English is still better than my Italian.

* stay in the same place

Which implies improvement, becuaes in that same time period Honda improved majorly (especially last year with their new clutch), maybe not so much this year, but that was a bridgestone issue... and they have only just missed the world title.
Where would they be with Casey on it? who knows. Caseys performances were stunning, but you cannot forget that his championship positions where not improving since his 2007 title (2007: 1st, 2008: 2nd, 2009: 4th, 2010: 4th) Otherthings were afoot, of course. However, those other things can also be attirubted to the stability and reliabilty of performance from the Ducati leading to injuries and other issues.

Rossi has been consistently bad, with occasional better performances, not willing to take the next step that Casey could, the one that leads to routine crashing messing up championship hopes. Casey can also do the same with the Honda this year, but the chattering can ultimately lead to tarmac time. I hope he enjoys the V8supercars.

I agree that Rossi wasn't implying that the M1 really needed "fixing", in the sense of the word. I think that was his unperfect English. However, the M1 has been down on power for years. This has always been a complaint of Jorge and the other Yam riders. I know riders always want more horsepower, but this was Rossi's decision to take the weaker motor. Jorge has asked for more power since Day 1 with Yamaha. You can have both. Certainly Honda has found the balance of max power and rideability, since a rider of Pedrosa's stature has such success as well as the other Honda riders. As for Ducati, I agree that Ducati engineers, in the end, are ultimately responsible for making the correct changes based on the rider's feedback, but Rossi/Burgess were very arrogant going in saying they would have the bike competitive in no time. They are now eating a Thanksgiving dinner of humble pie. They are blaming Ducati without laying any blame on themselves. Yes Stoner's results were certainly certainly declining but even in his last year he was winning races. Rossi has been pathetic on the bike and Burgess has obviously in some regard been unable to tell Ducati what needs replaced because they have thrown different parts at the bike with no real improvements. They have to take some blame for this. I hope for all of our sakes, Rossi is competitive next year and Ducati makes some real headway. One thing is for sure, Like him or not, Stoner is the man!

Personally I think Stoner's unique ability to pilot the ducati stemmed from his fantastic situational awareness and reflexes. Reminds me of Kimi Raikonnen who's also gifted that way. All the recent factory ducati riders know how to ride, it's not simply skill or determination that made the difference.

I don't think it was was waste....for Rossi.

All of us can only dream of the opportunity that Rossi had to try it. Because of who he is, what he's accomplished and his supreme confidence; he earned the opportunity to try.

It is my overwhelming experience (in life and business) that the big risk takers and those who seek challenges are the ones who succeed. Their desire and determination far exceeds the average person who'd prefer to play it safe.

"But Rossi, after 2 bad seasons, is still rewarded an M1?" you ask? Lucky bastard....or someone who's done more for the sport than any 5 riders combined?

I'm a die hard Ducatisti and I love the Ducati brand, but unlike some my fellow Ducati friends, I don't despise Rossi for giving it a shot. I don't think of Ducati as a victim either. They knew what they were doing, but I also know of Ducati's stubborness and pride of doing things very different....their way. You can't blame them either, it is this mentality which has created the most iconic, beautiful and influential motorcycles ever. Many of which I was lucky enough to own....

David when will Rossi first jump on board the 2013 Yamaha?

That'll be a sight for sore eyes for so many VR fans.

As I am on and think I know the answer...

Vale will be on the 2012 Yamaha in Valencia on the Monday after the last race. They might have the 2013 machine there but more likely it would be at the next practice session after that.

Comparing the times & results of Phillip Island 2010 to yesterday:
2010 Casey 1:30.10, Jorge 1:30.77, Vale 1:31.62
2012 Casey 1:29.66, Jorge 1:30.14, Vale 1:31.66
Race Time
2012 Casey 41'09.12, Jorge 41'17.71, Vale 41'27.11
2012 Casey 41'01.32, Jorge 41'10.54, Vale 41'38.43

Based on those, Casey would have been on pole and chances are won the race on the carbon fiber frame 800cc Ducati yesterday!

Note that the 2010 race was the next race after Vale had won in Sepang - the most recent victory he has had.

When the stopwatch starts, the bull.... stops.

But its worth noting that Casey wasn't really pushing very hard yesterday. He had done consistent 129's in every session bar the race - which was run in the best conditions of the weekend. He went as fast as he needed to and thats it. Jorge wasn't pushing 100% either - he was never going to catch Stoner and just needed to finish the race.

Going along these lines, when comparing QP, fastest lap of the race and race times between 2010 (800) and 2012 (1000), whenever times have been identical or faster in 2012:

in 2012, with his times on the GP10 Casey would have:

started from front row in Qatar
started from pole position at Aragon and Phillip Island
finished on the rostrum at Assen and Aragon
won the race at Phillip Island
got the fastest lap of the race in Qatar and Phillip Island

Now focusing solely on all Ducatis, Casey would have:

qualified best Ducati in Qatar, Laguna Seca, Misano, Phillip Island
finished the race best Ducati at Assen, Laguna Seca, Aragon, Phillip Island
fastest lap among Ducatis in Qatar, Assen, Sachsenring, Laguna Seca, Misano, Aragon and Phillip Island.

2 years later, 200cc more, not that fast compared to the opposition...but neither compared to 2010 lap and race times.

For Vale to find out how to ride the Duc all he needed to do was, as myself and others did. Go to turn 3 (now Stoner corner) at Phillip Island and watch Casey at 250+kph go into the corner, gas on, audibly spinning and two wheel slide around the apex. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as I type. No one else had the throttle open or was able to enter and leave as fast. There is no secret Vale, throttle open, balls out.
The race was a procession but we were treated to an awesome display of Stoner's scintillating talent ...he will be missed.

I've sat at Bass Straight stand a few times as well and have always marvelled at how Stoner attacks that corner. Its funny how the press only really got switched onto it in 2009 after he had that race long duel with Rossi - cos that was the only time the cameras stayed on him long enough to capture him repeatedly laying down massive black strips!

Stoner has said he might reveal his secret to that turn in retirement, I reckon along with just pure balls and throttle control, part of the answer is also how he drives out of the previous turn at Southern loop. Stoner absolutely fires the bike out of there, drifting the bike to with an inch of the grass at the outside of the turn and often having to tame aggressive power wiggles over the bumps as a result. So he arrives at turn 3 going faster, and maintains that advantage all the way through the turn. He's also drifting the bike far earlier than other riders there. Where some guys do drift the bike on the exit of turn 3 Stoner seems to deliberately get the rear spinning before the apex to turn the bike, like when he layed a strip right over the inside ripple strip in practice. Can't wait to hear some of Casey's techniques from his own mouth after retirement, though I'd prefer to still be watching him in action.

"For me, he's able to enter fast! But also especially he's able to open the throttle 20 or 30 meters ahead of all the other guys. He opens before, clearly before. And he puts the bike in oversteer and after he's able to gain for all the 200 meters before the braking, so he did the difference. If you go faster and you try to make more slide, you also have to use more lean angle, yeah."

I think it's definately one of those things that's a lot easier said than done, even by motorcycle world champs!

Drifting to me is not front and back sliding. Watch a 'drifting' video and you'll see the same thing - back wheels spinning/sliding, front wheels opposite lock..

If you watch the super slow mo from the race, the entire bike is sliding across the track. Both wheels are sliding. He has said that himself. He said it took himself a long time to be comfortable with "losing" the front and rear of the bike at the same time. these are his words. A motor cycle is not a car. If the front wheel was at opposite lock, he would crash. You can see the front wheel is no longer out of line with the rear. The two wheels become aligned and the whole bike slides

Have you ever ridden on dirt and power slide? The front wheel turns opposite lock - YOU DO NOT CRASH. That way the front wheel rolls so it does not have to slide.

Can you point me to his quote? When you lose the front it tucks in and you have to save it - he can do that - did it again in warm-up and ran off the track. You cannot consistently slide both wheels especially at high speed.

V4racer - sorry but he does not leave black lines with both wheels. They are old lines you are looking at.

Here is an old shot but a good one. Can you tell me why his wheels are not inline in this shot?

... if he is powersliding and using opposite lock through Stoner Corner, why does his front tyre leave a black line...

That doesn't seem very generous to either the man or the machine/team. I cannot believe that he didn't give it everything for the last time he was there , on a factory bike, whilst still at or near the peak of his powers (albeit injured). He also said his injured leg was not a big factor there. The reason he didn't get to try to go faster in qualifying on a soft tyre was the weather. Whether he could have gone faster we will never know.
The race was the same - and as said above Stoner only knows one speed - flat out.
His crash on the 'cold' hard tyre (and Danni's) shows how much these guys push all the time. In my opinion he doesn't have a 'secret' - as you said he is clever/skilled/brave enough to wind it open earlier and throw it in harder than any other person on this planet. PI suits that style more than any other track I can think of.
I was pleased to see him do it, win it, and walk away in one piece.

One story the times do not tell is the track condition. The slow-mo's showed how those bikes were bucking and flying over the bumps.

There is talk that the owner Fox Transport will dip into their extensive pile of cash and resurface for next year as riders complained last year.

i think that ducati didn't do enough, development to slow, and the new part made for the gp12 were never made in-house! swingarm, frame, ecu in 2 years! the first year nothing real was changed, frameless carbon vs aluminium. Rossi gave valuble info to Honda, to yamaha and ducati but ducati didnt do anything with it. like hayden said joining ducati: preziosi does the whole bike! what hayden forgot to say was, preziosi has no ears or doesnt want to listen, preziosi always made the bike so it didnt need to change when rossi arrived. for ducatio it was pure marketing, duc said the sails rises enorm! job done! Stoner was good riding the ducati but you cannot forget after 2007 with trellis frame it went backwards pretty fast winning less race each year. stoner was falling much more and more, because of the front-end failure. and stoner was complaining alot about it. So Rossi said: nothing changed sinds 2010 but its more like nothing changed sinds 2008, well the faring changed and it didnt make the bike look better. now it looks like a fish mouth!
Im glad rossi returns to yamaha, im glad ducati losed stoner. ducati not worthy having 2 of the best riders in the world. this story reminds me about a movie.... run stoner run! run rossi run! riding at ducati aint no fun!

His clarification of that says a lot about how he thinks and acts.
I’m sure that someone could identify some words where Rossi said ‘he’ developed the M1. With the amount of coverage he gets I should think you could show he has said many things that were out of context as well as in context.
For me, the fact he is here publicly ‘winding’ up Burgess and the others for the next phase of his career shows just how much he relies on the people around him and his passion to win again. He would have been a lot ‘bolder’ (as in daft) to have gone to Ducati on his own.
The only problem Ducati had was that they felt they could carry on doing the same old things and get another World Championship with Rossi.
In that sense they didn’t join Rossi’s team, and Burgess’ frustration with them has been clear. He can only work with what he is given and he obviously was not given what he asked for. “A new crankcase? What do you want that for, they’re fine. They are part of our history. Here, try this swing arm…….”
‘Throwing updates’ at the bike? If only.
Dovi will have to ride the same bike after Valencia. The times will be interesting.

Ducati stated they had no choice but to go to an aluminum frame due to the new regs. With the engine being a stressed member, it created issues with the engine allocations if they were to change chassis mounting points. Sorry, I forget the in depth details, but these were their words.

They would never have gone to an aluminum frame had Stoner been there. They'd have done the usual thing, come up with an engine and chassis configuration they thought worked and said 'here's what you've got this year Casey', same as always. And given the results they had the past two years I'm not even sure that would have been a bad thing. Ducati were leaders in carbon frame technology after all, who knows how good they would have gotten with it had they stuck with it. Rather than following Rossi and Burgess down the rabbit hole of trying to turn the Ducati into a Yamaha, maybe continuing the development path they had been pursuing would have yielded better results. Certainly couldn't have been much worse.

The difference between Stoner and the rest was about 1%. How much could he have pushed? Another 1%? 2%?
I'm not one of those 'Give it 110%' types and for me 98% or thereabouts is pushing.....
Keeping that up for a whole race isn't easy either. Danny gave it something like 101% at Honda and lost it.

I guess it's what we each call 'pushing'.

was certainly a major step but it took a year, I think. Whereas what I read here is that Honda and Yamaha etc bring these types of updates much more frequently and regularly (i.e. just to see if it works and gives 0.1%, not because they must find 1 or 2% from somewhere).

I guess it depends on how you define pushing....

Rossi & Burgess were caught out by the only variable they didn't control, the Ducati way of working. They both expected Ducati to behave and develop at the pace that Honda & Yamaha do and guess what? Ducati behaved like Ducati does.

To all effects, it is Ducati who have to rethink how they approach MotoGP racing.
They have been caught out with the technological jump of the past 4 years and don't know how to make up the gap.

Effectively, both Stoner and Rossi have simply picked themselves up and moved on.

Obviously Rossi has found his reputation tarnished, but I think he has matured and the past two seasons have proved that, despite what many fans think, he dosn't ride for his reputation but simply for the pure joy of motorcycle racing.

A nine time world champ spending 2 years in the doldrums, being made to look old by a new generation of super talents, losing a friend on track and wanting to continue is love for motorcycling, and that is what we have to thank Rossi for.

...... that folder marked " Project GP14 " is getting bigger and bigger.

I don't see anyone riding the GP13 bike doing any good on it. Ducati need to ask Audi for some big R&D money and get this machine fixed. For the sake of the sport. We can't have Ducati doing a Suzuki / Kawasaki.

Time will tell but I don't see much silverware coming to Ducati soon.

Hope I'm wrong.


It's very difficult to try and understand a 'genius' and that is exactly what Casey is on a GP bike----a GENIUS!!! As I've posted before, I've been watching road racing since Cal Rayborn and I've seen anyone ride a bike like Casey. He has a magical bond with the bike. Like Spies says, he does things that oth GP riders marvel at. He'll be missed.

for me, if audi can sort the bike out, all they have to do is give it 4 nice rings on the site fairing! audo would be mad give duc the credit!

I'm a bit of a mixer, I am Australian, I own a Ducati and im a Rossi fan. But, I am mostly a fan of moto gp and respect all the riders. I'm not a "one eyed" rossi fan.

I firstly think competitive banter is awesome. Stoner and Rossi just simply dont get on, it's not one thing or another - it's just the fact. Even if they played volleyball, they would not be friends. A bit of this is great in sport.

People are laying the blame everywhere - no doubt Stoner is probably the fastest rider in the world - no doubt at all, he is very skilled and I could watch just him do laps on a gp bike and be entertained.

But Rossi, and fair enough has had enough. I agree he is eating his own words, and im sure as soon as he had done one lap on the Ducati at Valencia in 2010 was think "oh fus*k, what have I done". But he had the balls to take a risk, which all great sportsman do. Look at the opposing end - what he did in 03 / 04 was history making, and he has fought battles with a vast range of opponents. Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Hayden, Biaggi, Gibenau, Roberts - the list goes on - and for the most part he has won against them.

Ducati have not done their development correctly, this is clear as Rossi and Stoner have more than likely given similar feedback - for whatever reason this feedback has not made it's way to the track. They have always blamed the rider. People have a short memory, that when Casey had his lactose issues that Ducati we're ready to sign Lorenzo for $15 mil euro, prob twice the pay of Stoner back then - and this is while he was away for just three races. Ducati have done some very strange things (melandri). The only winners that I recall are Capirossi (similar style to Rossi), Bayliss & Stoner. The bike was a race winner in 2006 it had two race winners, then we all know what happened in 07, again it had two races winners, Capi at Motegi and Stoner, but Capi was on the podium a few times that year also. After that things went backward. I hope as a Ducati owner and fan that they turn things around.

Whats changed? Tires mostly.

Rossi has never claimed to be an engineer, I've heard many interviews - he always says whether it's good or bad - it's in the hands of the engineers. He gives great feedback & this is essential to build a bike. I do agree that Stoner would be great at this also - it's not that Rossi has lost his craft, it's the others have caught up.

I was disappointed when I heard Casey bagging Rossi about the electonics issues in mgp - he would know that the riders dont make the electronics or persuade anyone to use them. It's the factories and FIM - obviously he is in the safety commitee - but so are many other riders who have a say in what needs attention.

I think moto gp needs a rethink, they need tire manufacturers to build tires around a bike - it's gp racing for peaks sake. We need less electronics and more petrol, put the throttle control back in the riders hand, not the engineers mouse. The control ecu & petrol limits are a good start. But we need more!

Great race Casey, thank you for the awesome 6 in a row at PI & I was there in 2007 and your style is just awesome to watch in the flesh, will be sorely missed by any true GP fan.


Rossi once described Stoner as being of the playstation generation and accused him of relying a lot on Traction Control. The reality was the polar opposite so again I think it's just one of those things Stoner hasn't forgotten about. And he has a point - Rossi was winning races using Traction Control far before Stoner ever tried it, he even said once it fealt a bit like cheating. But did he worry about how boring they were making the sport back then? As long as he was they guy dominating the title it doesn't seem to bother him much.

I'm Stoner fan, but I'm sick to death of people kicking these riders;


Has been amazing at promoting himself and the SPORT;
Is an amazing rider that never suited the Duke (only one could ride it);
Has given his all at everything he's done.


Has the ability to ride a bad bike fast, very fast;
Will never achieve all his talent deserves, he's given up;
He's allowed to do this, its his life.

Rossi V Stoner;

Rossi more championships;
Stoner is faster, no the fastest;
Stoner is quitting, Vale will not know when too, as he loves it too much.


Vale started with Ducati when Ducati was being sold, this means 'frozen funds until the transaction is complete' so he may have never have recieved all Ducati had to offer, as the business's balance sheet was more important to the people that make the real decisions 'the owners'. Whereas Casey would win anyway, without the cost of significant development, the Rossi V Stoner has been the story of the last 5 years in Motogp, it's cost one man his reputation and the other his happiness in the sport. I bet, Rossi, Burgess and Ducati would take back their criticisms of Casey it they could, and I bet Casey would do the same if they would.

I also like to see just the fight on the track, no matter who is fighting, who is better than who, but Valentino Rossi is the only one who used to use media as a opponents breaker. He didn't face to face things privately only when media are involved. That media weapon somehow didn't work out since Ducati challenge and maybe even started to work against him.
In my opinion without taking back the criticism based on a lots of unfair speculations before which had builded 'bad image' of Stoner, Valentino will be charged till the end of his career especially now in Lorenzo garage.
Gibernau, Biaggi, Lorenzo, Stoner were wounded by Rossi in media and not personally dominated. I think this is something which keeps some people still against Rossi even the reality is different. The media image lives itself and this is the price of using it...

was yesterday, remember Mister Troy Bayliss at Valencia 2006!
The only other non-Stoner Ducati win came in 2007 with Capirex flag to flag race win at Motegi.

This is really amazing and helps put things into perspective to think that no one has been able to win with the brand in the past 6 years, except for Casey. It's a disaster.

If he hadn't been there, for sure Rossi wouldn't have got there but most probably they would have already pulled out of the sport à la Kawasaki and Suzuki.

Stoner will always occupy a special place in Ducat's history. The guy at Phillip Morris who offered Lorenzo Stoners ride when he was sick may not however.

.To say that the Ducati only 'suited one rider' is to grossly misunderstand the reason Stoner was so fast on it. As already said 'balls out,full gas'

Rossi is on record saying he cannot ride the bike like that. Draw your own conclusions as to why 2 years later, there is still no progress. It's not a hard one to figure out, half way through 2012 JB said that the team can do only so much, the rest is up to the rider. The rider simply wasnt up to the task, yet Rossi still talks of the 'same problems with the bike'. The colour Yellow has become rather ironic.

Maybe Ducati just needs 200cc more :-)

New chassis, swingarms, all for nought.

Ducati's trademark 90 deg engine configuration might as well be a pair of handcuffs. It may be possible to improve it to the point of being competitive again, but it sure makes the job a lot more difficult when you don't have choices.

What a lot of rubbish. Capirossi came as close as dammit to being 2006 Champion with the pipe frame L-4. This one can go around the mulberry bush ad nauseum, but will never detract from the fact that it is a better piece of kit than a GSVR or Kawasaki in line four ever was circa 2003 GP season onwards.
The fact that the rivalry between Stoner and Rossi hyped up the media is the only reason Ducati have been in the firing line for 2 seasons running. Stoner got the results and Rossi failed dismally as an example of an adaptable alien for all seasons. Ducati were bullied into adapting to his wims.
Had Stoner picked up the odd 5fth and 6th place on the Suzuki or Kawasaki whilst HRC/Yamaha had run away with the laurels with Rossi on board,Ducati would never had endured a mention. Nor their L-4,nor Desmo,nor anything.
Personally I hope Valencia post race testing puts things into perspective.
No doubt next years hype will be about 4 bikes and 4 riders,thus giving Ducati a welcome break from the over zealous srutiny. Of course,if they come up with a rocketship that one of their rider's blends with,we can expect cries of 'foul,foul and foul'.

How many championships did Stoner win on the Ducati?

How many wins did he get his last year on the Ducati?

What place in the final finishing order did Casey place on his last year on the Ducati?

I think some want to act as if he won the championship every year he rode for the Italians when in fact it was only once. Regardless what anyone says, Rossi won just as many 800cc championships as Stoner.

The Rossi bashing on this site is so regular and so often it should be called 'ex-lax'.

That killed the careers of everyone else to ride it. Even before Stoner went to Honda, his head to head win record against Rossi was, incredibly, superior. Rossi fans used to love talking about Laguna 08.. I don't hear so much about it anymore, since it's become obvious that were the positions reversed Casey would have obliterated Rossi, as he has done for the past two seasons. Where has the on track rivalry gone since Casey went to Honda and Rossi to Ducati? Rossi is too busy racing with the likes of Abraham to even think about Stoner.

When Stoner was on the Duc he was usually 10 - 20 seconds in front of Hayden, the difference with Rossi there couldn't be more stark. Even a not 100% fit Hayden was able to push Rossi all the way at Phillip Island, and beat him at Sepang and quite a few other tracks.

Hayden finished 7 points behind Rossi last year and was nearly even with him this year before an accident made him miss races. On the Duc, Hayden and Rossi are very much in the same league.

Hayden finished 7 points behind Rossi last year and was nearly even with him this year before an accident made him miss races. On the Duc, Hayden and Rossi are very much in the same league.

Hayden has 1 podium and Rossi has 3, though if Bradl hadn't punted Hayden wide on he last lap at Mugello it would have been two each. Either way it doesn't show Rossi being much better than Hayden.

Hayden has 1 podium and Rossi has 3, though if Bradl hadn't punted Hayden wide on he last lap at Mugello it would have been two each. Either way it doesn't show Rossi being much better than Hayden.

To put it into perspective, in the two years Stoner was Hayden's teammate he scored 17 podiums to Hayden's 2, with 7 wins. This is despite being held back with debilitating health issues in 2009 and missing three races.

The lack of a tyre war. Up until end 2007,Bridgestone were pretty much focused on the Ducati efforts and enjoyed the results. Once they acceded to supplying one Yamaha rider with their kit and focused development of the carcass around him and Yamaha in 2008, Ducati's results went backwards,followed by sundry front end folds et al in latter years. I'm not stating it as fact,merely suggestion.
Once the Rossi/Yamaha Bridgestone standard was handed to Rossi on the Ducati in 2011,he could not deal with it. The Bridgestone behaved differently than it did on the Yamaha, as expected. Was that also Ducati's fault ? Back in 2007,Michelin took 2nd and 3rd in the rider standings,so exactly what was the issue ? Michelin served fewer bikes and grabbed the lions share of results in Europe. Bridgestone had the edge at the flyaway rounds. It was a decent balance.
Mind you,at whose behest I don't know,the single tyre manufacturer rule and sudden change in carcass construction early 2012 certainly compromised HRC's efforts this season.
Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that either Dani or Casey would have beaten George to the title this season. He was superb.
What I am suggesting is that Bridgestone should grow a spine and stop bending every which way the wind blows. Unlike electronics,tyres have very limited control over the rider's throttle,clutch and brake co-ordination and control.

You've left it unsaid, I beleive the sudden change in front tyres early this year was a last ditch effort from Dorna to help get Rossi to the front, by giving him a front tyre that might give him more feel from the front of the Ducati. They were desperate to get Rossi winning again for TV audiences, as was made obvious by Carmelo's later pronouncement that Rossi WOULD be on a competitive bike next year! Instead all they did was hand the title to Yamaha on a platter by plaguing the Hondas with chatter. I agree with you about the 2007 tyres, the next best Ducati on Bridgestones in 2007 finished in 7th place in the championship, over 200 points behind.. Without Stoner we might never have moved to control tyres.

Interesting thoughts there, Desh - I hadn't considered that possible angle, but it certainly makes sense from the Dorna perspective. Why else would they throw a totally new tyre into the mix mid season? That's something that has never happened before.

Desh, they have been my thoughts also about the "newer" BS tyre.
The Ducati had problems with getting the heat into the front tyres and the softer carcass was supposed to have been a "fix" for them.(IMO)
They were brought in under the guise as a saftey issue when I thought it was the rear tyres that were the source of the early lap hi-sides.

well as we can see that made a huge diff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

well as we can see that made a huge diff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Had Stoner picked up the odd 5fth and 6th place on the Suzuki or Kawasaki whilst HRC/Yamaha had run away with the laurels with Rossi on board,Ducati would never had endured a mention. Nor their L-4,nor Desmo,nor anything."

You mean to say if Stoner had never set foot in the Ducati garage?

Even if that were the case, Rossi would have stepped from winning championships or, as in the case of 2010 after heavy injuries, finishing 3rd, to 6-7 in 2011-12 behind satellite Yamahas and Hondas.

That's in addition to Melandri coming in 17th in 2008 on Ducati, and 10th the following year on a Kawasaki.

So yes, I think Ducati might have faced a few odd questions here and there from the press regarding their bikes.

The only good that came from Rossi going to Ducati is vindicating Stoner's talents.

If spec tire rule is to blame for Ducati's failures and customized tire construction is that important to a team's success, then let's go back to open tires and let Ducati have an exclusive contract with Bridgestone, the only requirement is that the team rides under the name Ducati-Bridgestone.


In a rather fluff-piece doco. on Stoner's career shown here in Oz on Monday night, there were some shots of Stoner on his first test on the '07 Duc, still in bare c.f. Watching the thing buck, jump and wobble its way around corners, if it'd been painted red you could have sworn it was the '09 bike, at the very least.

I can't find the test times for '07, but in the first race at Qatar, Stoner's team-mate Loris Capirossi - who crashed out of the race (where have we heard that before of a Ducati?) had recorded a best lap 7/10ths slower than Stoner's best. Loris had come respectably close to winning the WC the year before.

The point is simply this: if you remove Stoner from the equation, Ducati potential in 2012 is very much the the same as Ducati potential in '07, and every damn year in between. Melandri - broken by the Duc in '08 - managed a second place in the (wet) fourth race following his Duc season - on the Hayate, FFS.

The assumption that the '07 Duc was more than a very fast bike - rather than a very quick bike - and that Ducati have lost the plot since then, doesn't hold up to objective scrutiny. In fact, the '06 was possibly their most competitive package - witness Bayliss jumping on it and winning Valencia.

It is hard to feel other than that Rossi (and for that matter, Burgess) were more fixated on Stoner's record on the bike than on the Ducati itself when they took on the challenge. The phrase 'blinded by the light' comes to mind - they did not look to the dark side of the bike's record...

"The assumption that the '07 Duc was more than a very fast bike - rather than a very quick bike - and that Ducati have lost the plot since then, doesn't hold up to objective scrutiny."

It holds up to objective scrutiny b/c the sport has changed substantially for the manufacturers since 2006. Ducati lost the plot b/c the plot moved.

In 2006 and 2007, the manufacturers built the bikes they wanted and then they ordered tires from the supplier to suit the bike.

At the end of 2007, emergency tire meetings were called to address tire performance and tire parity issues. The following season Stoner began complaining that he didn't have access to the tires he wanted. This situation was probably caused by changes to the tire regulations in 2008. In 2009, MotoGP adopted a control tire. Ducati responded to the tire changes in 2008 and 2009 by introducing the carbon monocoque frame and carbon swingarm. In 2010, the engine life rules were in effect for the entire season; therefore, the engines had to be reliable and crash resistant. No telling what that did for the CoG of engines and frames.

Long story short, the sport was turned on its ear by tire regulations. Ducati has yet to discover how to build a bike around GP tires and that's why they hired Rossi/Burgess. It's why they tried playing around with carbon monocoque, and it's why they chased the aluminum twin-spar concept. They are genuinely lost, and it has happened since 2007.

What doesn't hold up to objective scrutiny is the idea that a rider can win a WC by over 100pts on a nail that doesn't turn. The bike turned in 2006 and 2007 when it had the tires it needed. Since then, Ducati are throwing parts at the GP in a desperate attempt to find grip and balance with the new tires. Ducati's situation takes nothing away from Stoner's abilities.

2007 Championship

Stoner : 1st - 367 points

Capirossi: 7th - 166 points

Thats a gap of over 200 points to the guy thats started the season as the number 1 Ducati rider and who was atitle contender the previous year. Capirossi was actually the next best Ducati and he was also beaten by both Suzuki's that year. Tell me gain how much better that package was in 2007?

2005 Championship

Rossi - 367 points

Edwards - 179 points

Looks like Rossi's 2005 M1 didn't turn very well!

You're only demonstrating that Capirossi, like several other riders, did not understand the 800s or the Bridgestone tires. Capirossi also spent a good deal of his energy demanding #1 status.

The bike turned quite well in 2007, particularly in the fast turns. As Bridgestone ironed out the kinks with their new 800cc tires, Bridgestone runners continued to get stronger, despite horsepower gains made by Honda and Yamaha. Bridgestone also had superior wet tires, winning 3 of 3 races and scoring 8 of 9 podiums.

The bike stopped turning in 2008, and Stoner wasn't bashful about the problem. First was the mushroom cloud at Jerez in 2008, then was the reserved (but public) rant against the tires after Stoner saw his total race time increase between 2007 and 2008. From that point until his switch to Honda, he was never at a loss for words when it came to criticizing the handling of the bike or the supreme effort it took to ride the machine.

The 2007 Ducati actually

'turned quite well, particularly in the fast turns.'

And Mr Loris Capirossi simply

'did not understand the 800s or the Bridgestone tires'

Did it occur to you at any point that Mr Capirossi - the GP rider that developed the GP7, might know more about how it behaved than you do? He did after all win a few races in his time, on 250s, 500s and 990s, and was one of the most experienced riders on the grid. Maybe he could have performed better if only he had you there to tutor him on how to ride those fast turns! The 07 Duc looked good through fast turns because Stoner was flogging the hell out of it, just as he was doing last week at Phillip Island and every race in between.

The Rossi vs Edwards comparison is specious. The 05 Yamaha was highly developed and proven, a title winning bike in an established top team, devoted wholly and solely to retaining the title with Rossi. Edwards finished the season 4th, with only 2 Hondas between himself and Rossi.

And for the Edwards/Rossi season to be the same as the Stoner/Capirossi season, it is Edwards that should have smashed Rossi by 200 points and taken the title! Edwards (no wins in GP) being beaten comprehensively by Rossi was never in question, just as Capirossi whipping some Aussie kid was never in question, until the exact opposite happened.

Again, you have no point.

The events that transpired in 2007 have nothing to do me. Capirossi was obviously not in need of my tutelage, but he could have used Stoner's help. There is no debate about whether or not Stoner rode exceptionally well in 2007. The debate is whether or not someone can win a WC by 125pts on a bike that doesn't turn. The obvious answer is 'no', and Stoner had the misfortune of trying to win a WC on a bike that didn't turn in 2008, 2009, and 2010. When he found a properly handling bike with a reasonably good control tire (2011), he won the championship again.

The 2005 argument is obviously specious. It was supposed to make you realize that your argument was equally absurd, especially since Rossi and Stoner recorded margins of victory in excess of 120pts in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

Okay.. The point is simply that the 2007 bike didn't turn better than later incarnations. When a rider like Capirossi can't do any better than 7th with two Suzukis in front of him, it doesnt say to me the bike turned well, it says Stoner was doing something other riders can't do - which even Rossi has recently admitted. If you want to see which bikes were turning well look at the Yamaha in 07. Bridgestone tyres or not, it was far more agile through the twisty bits. (and Michelin did take second & third in the title) The other factories, particularly Yamaha made faster advancements than Ducati did in the following years. But that doesn't mean the 07 Duc 'turned well' in 07, it clearly didn't. Stoner rode a mistake free, perfect season without illness or injury, and had he done the same in 08 and 09 he might have been able to fight for those titles as well. But the problem he had every season was he had to ride very close to his limit to get the Duc near the front, and it's very hard to ride perfect seasons under those conditions.

I've already explained why the GP6 and GP7 handled well, though subsequent iterations did not. Furthermore, you've heard more than enough from the riders over the years to piece together that a very small minority of riders actually prefer the stiffest Bridgestone tires, and fewer still have the confidence to get those tires up to optimal temperature. I can lead you to water, but I can't make you drink.

The GP7 turned. The GP8 did not turn. If neither the GP7 nor subsequent iterations turned properly, you're suggesting that Stoner forgot how to ride for 3 seasons, but he magically remembered how to win without crashing when he found a bike/tire combination that worked.

My explanation is the least absurd by far. I don't need pretend that someone can win a WC by 125pts on a bike that can't turn. I don't have to pretend that Stoner forgot how to ride for 3 seasons. I simply look at the constantly shifting tire regulations, and I realize that some manufacturers and riders have adapted to the changes, and some manufacturers have not. Casey told us his tires went missing in 2008, and Bridgestone told everyone they had a new tire spec for 2008. From that point on, the Ducati stopped turning properly, and Casey had to put himself in peril to make the Ducati fast.

... the bullshit stops. That used to be the truism of racing, but the flag in question was the starter's flag. Today, with lights used for starting, we could easily change the old addage to "when the (chequered) flag drops, the bullshit STARTS".

However, there are at least two blokes on here who pay attention to the facts, thank-you for that 'gbyrnes95' and 'frenchie'.

What you could add is that if Stoner had lined up for the race at Aragon in 2011 on the Ducati he rode the year before, he could have won again. And that was on the carbon-fibre bike Rossi got rid of as quickly as possible. It was as if Rossi so much wanted to rid himself of any of Stoner's trappings that he threw away the winning combination. Think that fanciful? Well consider this. In 2010 at Aragon, Nicky Hayden (on the carbon-fibre Ducati) ended up on the podium after pulling a very neat pass on no less than Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap. Yep, that Ducati, with Hayden aboard, was able to go around Lorenzo and sneak in front of him in three quick changes of direction. This is part of what is called 'handling'. So Ducati clearly arrived at a set-up at Aragon in 2010 that WORKED.

The next year, Stoner won on the 800cc Honda at a fractionally slower pace than he had on the 800cc Ducati the year before, while Hayden finished down the field, 25 seconds SLOWER than he was able to achieve the year before. This was after just one year of Valentino Rossi's 'development'. Yes, Hayden on the bike-that-Rossi-ordered, was more than 1.1 seconds A LAP slower from 2010 to 2011 at Aragon.


Rossi appears to have studied the late Barry Sheene, added a few more layers of subtlety and emerged as the ultimate politician. Next we'll be seeing him kissing babies...

Oh, and who was it that kicked up all the fuss that led to Uncle Carmello getting rid of tyre competition?

There's a couple things you left out that change things quite a bit:

First, the tires changed from 2010 to 2011, Nicky Hayden was regularly slower at other tracks on the GP11 than he was on the GP10, before anything had changed.

Hayden raced the GP11.1 at Aragon in 2011, which was was in no way a bike-that-Rossi-ordered. It was the bike originally planned for 2012, had been designed before Rossi arrived, and still used the CF/frameless chassis.

The fuss that led to the single tire rule came from Pedrosa/HRC and Yamaha. Pedrosa forcing HRC to switch tires in mid-season 2008 and Yamaha joining the other factories not wanting to continue with Michelin in 2009. Rossi was already on Bridgestone tires in 2008, so what was he going to cause a fuss about?

His biggest frustration is Lorenzo & Biaggi being world champions again, all the while not winning a single race since the last time those 2 won championships.

Oh, & not to mention the Stoner barbs to which he is utterly defenseless... Mega bummer.

Hayden would still be riding on 'carbon' and he would be world champ, then?

KR Jnr said you have to be lucky to be on the bike/in the team that suits you at the right time and that rings as very true and sensible. Stoner is unquestionably very fast on any day but for various reasons has only put 2 championships together.
As for tyres - I don't see how you can say tyres make all the difference and then say, 'actually it's the/my favourite rider'. As with all things it's a combination of all factors - stats mean nothing for anything other than 'run-away' wins, unless you bring all the variables into your analysis (weather/track conditions/machine condition/faults/specs etc etc.)- otherwise you are just guilty of 'Expectation; 'The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy; Confirmation Bias; Brand Loyalty; or The Misinformation Effect' (or a combination of all of them!).
Stoner 'probably' had a special tyre when on the Ducati for his WC#1. And he still fell off a lot in relative terms - but still beat Capirex. And had a few runaway wins, I recall. Once the special tyres stopped his luck changed, or something. The BS effect was hugely distorting and Rossi/Yamaha/his team were smart enough to know it had to be the way to go however good Michelin had been.
Rossi didn't choose the latest BS tyre either - it was a team/rider decision from the whole paddock. I think the fuss (and accidents) had more to do with everyone's views rather than just Rossi's. Strange how the accidents have stopped but they aren't still 'changing the tyres for Rossi', who was still struggling with the bike last time I watched......

"Stoner is unquestionably very fast on any day but for various reasons has only put 2 championships together."

No, there was 1 reason and 1 reason only - he was on a Ducati for too long. Even the best can only win using a knife in a gunfight so many times. Think that's an exaggeration? Ask ANY other rider to have been on the Ducati for the past 6 years whether they thought the bike was a winning machine!

Its very difficult to interpret the Ducati's performance over the motogp era and make a single conclusion. Stoner wasn't the only person to be fast at Philip Island on the Ducati. But from 2008 only Stoner was consistently fast on the Ducati.

2003 Capirossi was 2nd and 5.2 back of Rossi on a Yamaha
2004 Capirossi was 3rd and 10.5 back of Rossi on a Yamaha
2005 Checa was 3rd and 4.2 back of Rossi on a Yamaha
2006 Gibernau was 4th in a wet race with a bike change and won marvelously by Melandri one handed power sliding over the line on a Honda
2007 Capirossi was 2nd and 6.7 back of Stoner on a Ducati
2008 Elias was 11th and 27 seconds back of Stoner on a Ducati
2009 Kallio was 9th and 54.3 seconds back of Stoner on a Ducati
2010 Hayden was 4th and a whisker behind Rossi and 18 seconds back of Stoner n a Ducati
2011 DePuniet was 6th and 48 seconds back of Stoner on a Honda
2012 Rossi was 7th and 37 seconds back of Stoner on a Honda

The margin between success and failure in MotoGP is so fine. How fundamental are the changes necessary in developing the Ducati to challenge for the podium again? Do they need to ditch their overly long engine for something more compact, or is it just a question of getting the chassis perfected?

But to only take Phillip Island as the sample set skews things a bit. Phillip Island was one of Capirossi's best races in 2007, he was usually a lot further back. Likewise some of the gaps in subsequent years were larger than they would have been on average.

Ducati have to learn.

It's not 2006 and it's not 2007 anymore.
They also don't have the faster rider of this era anymore, Casey Stoner.

The tyres, the frames, the riders, the fuel and electronics are all different.

Ducati have to build a bike for their riders and TO THE RULES of the day.

Sadly, the Ducati rider line up in 2013 is hardly stellar. Sorry, but each has had their chances to fight for wins, week in and week out, yet all have failed to deliver.