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Former 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr has given his opinion on the growing frustrations of Valentino Rossi, likening the Italian's current situation at Ducati to his own at Suzuki just over a decade ago.

Roberts Jr ended the 2001 season 11th after winning the premier class title the previous year, and says he can empathise with what Rossi is going through now. “It is a similar mental situation to what I was in with Suzuki. I think where Valentino is right now is that he is coming to terms with not being competitive, and beyond that, coming to terms with not even being close to the front,” Roberts Jr told

”I think in Valentino's mind he's probably thinking to himself, 'Look, I've won titles, I've won races. I've done all this and if I were riding a Yamaha or a Honda right now I'd be right there.' I think overwhelmingly we all believe that. Rossi probably feels that it's not really his job to race for fifth or tenth place. Ducati didn't hire him to race for those positions either.”

Roberts Jr added: “For Ducati this is creeping into worst case scenario. They bet a lot on this, pulled their team from World Superbike, pulled all of those resources to give Valentino everything they could. The results aren't there yet. It's a hard task now for Valentino.”

MotoGP, 2012

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