Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gearbox troubles continue for Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi suffered more gremlins with Ducati’s seamless shift gearbox in Misano today after he qualified in a lowly 11th place in front of his home crowd.

Rossi’s GP11.1 was struck by a downshifting issue in Indianapolis last weekend when dropped to dead last before fighting back to finish 10th.

Rossi’s bike goes into neutral and he was hit by the same problem again in Misano today and he was seen running off track on at least three occasions.

When asked by MCN to explain why he was continually running off track, he said it was more to do with the faulty gearbox than the chronic lack of front-end feeling that has plagued the Italian during the entire 2011 season.

The 32-year-old: "When I run off the track it is because I always have a problem with the gearbox and it is like in Indianapolis it remains in neutral. For this reason now we have to understand what happens tomorrow because for sure if I make one mistake like this in the race I’ll lose a lot. We have a problem because our new generation gearbox is still not ready and sometimes it has a problem and remains in neutral. This is one thing to work on for next year. The engine braking is so important but you don’t understand immediately you’re in neutral. There is no way to stop the bike without the gears."

Another issue for Rossi on his way to clocking a best time of 1.34.676 was a lack of front-end feeling under hard braking.

Rossi finished 1.538s behind Casey Stoner’s pole time but he believes he could have secured a spot on the third row of the grid after Randy de Puniet blocked him at the final hairpin.

Rossi added: "Today the feeling was better with the bike but unfortunately we could have made a better position because on my good lap I came across de Puniet at the last hairpin and I lost 0.5s, so without this I could start from the third row. The lap time is not fantastic and especially because the other guys are going very fast.

"There is no clear part of the track where we lose time, we lose 0.3s in every section. Usually in the race our pace is quite good and we can improve our position but for sure it will be a hard race. I always have some problem with the front pushing in the hard braking, so we will start from behind and see what happens."

source: MCN

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