MotoGP Tests in Sepang/Malaysia – Valentino Rossi auf Ducati Desmosedici

Bin aktuell beruflich und privat zu eingespannt, um in angemessenem Umfang über die kompletten IRTA Tests in Malaysia zu berichten. Ich beschränke mich daher auf das, was vermutlich die Meisten (und mich) am meisten interessiert: Wie läuft es bei Ducati, wie kommt “Il Dottore” Valentino Rossi mit der Desmosedici GP11 zurecht?

Spannend dürfte das nicht nur für die vielen Rossi-Fans sein, ist doch der Wechsel des Rekordweltmeisters zu Ducati das am wenigsten Vorhersagbare in der MotoGP Saison 2011. Bisher hatten sich ja alle Fahrer – ausgenommen Casey Stoner – an der Ducati mehr oder weniger die Zähne ausgebissen. Am härtesten traf es Marco Melandri, der kilometerweise hinter den Erwartungen zurück geblieben war. Aber auch ein Nicky Hayden konnte ausser einigen Achtungserfolgen nicht an seine früheren Leistungen anknüpfen.

(Als Quelle stütze ich mich vor allem auf die offiziellen Pressemitteilungen von Ducati Corse, ich erlaube mir daher, die Zitate auch im englischen O-Ton zu übernehmen.)

An allen 3 Testtagen blieb das Wetter trocken, sodass man sinnvoll an Setups testen und die Ergebnisse auch vergleichen konnte. Bei Valentino Rossi schaut man parallel zur Umgewöhnung auf die Ducati auch mit Spannung auf den Heilungsverlauf seiner kürzlich erst operierten Schulter. Beides ist nicht abgeschlossen, aber beides scheint auf einem ganz guten Weg zu sein. Für einen der vorderen Plätze hat es am Ende nicht gereicht, aber mit einer 2:01.842 nach 52 gefahrenen Runden und einem Platz 10 kann man in Anbetracht der Umstände wohl ganz zufrieden sein.

Im O-Ton klingt das beim MotoGP Rekordweltmeister dann so:

Erster Testtag

Rarely have I been this happy with a twelfth place, because after the test at Misano, we were pretty pessimistic considering how bad I felt there. It went better here though, especially in the morning, and we were able to do 20, 25 laps at a decent speed. Although we still have a lot of work to do, but we did a lot today: we worked on the riding position, and we’re starting to understand, among the many details that we can adjust on this bike, what the best solutions are. The Ducati’s DNA doesn’t need to be changed; we have to take advantage of the positive aspects and improve the others. Unfortunately, it became more difficult when I lost a lot of strength in the afternoon, but in the end I was able to do about fifteen more laps. Let’s say that at the moment, I have quite a bit of pain and not much strength, whereas the opposite would be preferable! The hardest parts are the straights and on hard braking into right corners, like Turn 1 and Turn 4; there alone I lose about a second, whereas the rest of the lap is okay, because compared to Valencia, I’m able to ride much better. It will be important to be able to rest well tonight in order to regain some mobility so that I can do 30 or 40 laps tomorrow. I’ll have a relaxing massage and put ice on it.

Zweiter Testtag

I’m happy because I was able to ride again today. I did another 42 laps, which is reassuring. Even when I work my shoulder hard, I’m finding that it doesn’t get worse, and I don’t suffer too much, to the extent that I was able to start again this morning without having lost anything compared to yesterday. Actually, the shoulder is even getting better as I ride, and I’m able to make the movements that are required. Obviously, it’s still a handicap, because eventually I begin to lose strength and the pain increases, but we were able to do some good, consistent work. We tested some new fairings, trying out the aerodynamics. There’s still a little vibration at the front that we weren’t able to eliminate, but we have some cards we can play tomorrow to address that. We have to get a little more experience to better understand the bike’s reactions when we change tires, from soft to hard and vice versa. If the weather stays nice, the track conditions will continue to improve, and I think lap times could drop a bit. Naturally, beyond feeling increasingly comfortable on the bike, one of our goals is to be able to ride it more easily. We’re satisfied with the progress we’re making.

Dritter Testtag

I’m very happy because before coming here, I expected to do 20, 30 laps per day, and as it turns out, I did around 40 each of the first two days and over 50 today. Of course I was really finished by the end, in part because the rest of my body has to work differently; my left arm has to do extra work, so it’s very tired. But I’m really happy with my shoulder because it’s improving day-by-day, and even after the stress of having ridden a MotoGP bike at the limit, I don’t have any problems: now it’s just a question of strength. My mobility has improved a lot, and I no longer think my physical limitations cost me a second; let’s say I lose five or six tenths, especially on braking and in corner entry. Anyway, we worked well today too, and we were able to collect a lot of data and solve the chattering problem we were experiencing. Obviously, there’s still a lot to do, but compared to the start of the test, we’ve definitely gotten closer to the base setup we’re looking for. There’s no need to change the Desmosedici’s character; we need to take advantage of its best characteristics—its stability and its engine—and improve the other areas, especially the in-corner behavior, to make it turn better. In any case, the overall evaluation of the test is definitely good; today we’re a second off the top riders, and also in the afternoon, riding with race tires, the distance stayed around seven or eight tenths. I still have to do more kilometers in order to understand other aspects of the GP11 but, although I have to change my riding style a little, I now feel much more at home with the Ducati.

Und was ist mit Nicky Hayden? Immerhin – was gut für sein Selbstbewusstsein sein dürfte – konnte er an 2 von 3 Tagen seinen Teamkollegen Valentino Rossi knapp hinter sich lassen. Berücksichtigt man Nickys Erfahrung mit der Desmosedici und die Schulterverletzung des Doktors, so düfte das wohl kein Zustand von allzu großer Dauer sein.

Ein paar Eindrücke noch?

Purer Sex, gefertigt aus Stahl, Titan, Magnesium und viel Carbon?

Bitteschön, hier entlang 😉


  1. Klasse! Rossi ist für mich einer der besten Sportler die es gibt. Kein andere kann Motorradfahren wie er 🙂

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