Everybody knows that Valentino Rossi’s travails at Ducati. Ever since he joined the Italian factory he has looked as if most of his arch rivals can defeat him on Moto2 machines. But credit it to the man; he did not change his demeanour through out last year, always looking and saying hopeful and positive things and getting Ducati to iterate various chassis settings and even chassis changes some of which have involved changed materials from carbon fibre to aluminium and finally building a twin spar aluminium chassis; something that Ducati never did before. Despite all that Rossi has not improved and more worryingly his teammate Nicky Hayden has started going faster than him.
So when in the Qatar race Rossi could finish no better than 10th he finally lost his composure and said that the Ducati is one bike that he cannot ride. He complained that Ducati were not listening to him and converting his input into proper engineering and this led to an avalanche of speculation about Rossi and Ducati splitting ways and crystal ball gazing about the future options of Rossi. However, in a couple of days both rider and factory started making conciliatory noises which have now culminated in an in your face PR exercise. Ahead of the GP at Jerez Rossi has started saying things like “we have a good base setting here from our previous test”, “we can go faster and better here than we did at Losail” and the final one which we think is the best is when Rossi has interviewed his father Graziano Rossi about Valentino Rossi at Ducati. In this interview the father says that the son is very happy at Ducati and that Filippo Preziosi is a great engineer who has created a great engine and a wonderful motorcycle whose front feel has to be improved a little and that he and his son are confident of victories on the Ducati and maybe a World Championship as well. Whew!!!! Some PR exercise that. We hope that all those who saw this interview on Italian TV are laughing their heads off. We certainly are.