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Rossi doesn’t view GP11.1 as a “last resort”

Rossi doesn’t view GP11.1 as a “last resort”

Kicking off the Iveco TT Assen weekend, Valentino Rossi spoke with journalists about his season thus far, the development work on the GP12 and, above all, about the new prototype GP11.1 that he will use in Saturday’s race. Here are his answers.

“It’s always nice to be back at Assen, especially after missing the race last year. I still have to learn the new corner, which I hear is very fast, and I won’t have much time, so I’ll have to figure out the best way as I go. In theory, I should remember the circuit fairly well - I have enough experience here. We'll see how it goes, we also have a new bike and are very curious to see it in action, especially because we've never tested this engine in this chassis, which opens up some questions…”

“With the GP12 I felt good right away, since the first test. I’ve ridden it three times, once in Jerez and twice at Mugello. We don’t have many references, especially compared to the other teams, so our true level of competitiveness remains to be seen. I know that Honda has been quick from the start, especially in Jerez, but we've continued work on the bike and at Mugello we saw some encouraging changes. More than anything it’s a matter of feeling: with the GP12, I felt comfortable right from the start, and then with each small change it was better and better. We'll see what we can do when the time comes. I heard that Stoner went faster than us, but we’ll see how much truth there is to that information.”

“The engineers argue that the 1000 won’t be much faster than the 800, but I think the GP12 is fast– I think the difference is there.”

“We struggled at the start of the season and the results were not good enough. I pressured Filippo (Preziosi) for new changes, especially for the back of the bike, and with an eye on the Mugello race. From this he got an idea: we already have a new bike - why not try it with the 800cc engine? After the Mugello test, he asked what I thought about the proposition. I thought there might be risks, but I immediately agreed with him, especially since the GP12 feels more like my bike, while GP11 was a bike made by others. With this move I think we’ll be more competitive while at the same time moving forward for next year.”

“Personally, I don’t see it as a last resort; we’ve reduced development time and I've seen in testing I can be faster. Now the question is to see how it goes with the 800cc engine. We don’t know whether we can beat the Honda, but I'm sure we've taken some steps forward.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, IVECO TT ASSEN

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