MOTOGP: ‘Ducati Now Has A Plan’

Valentino Rossi has been involved in yet another round of crisis talks in a bid to cajole Ducati’s technical boss, Filippo Preziosi, to come up with some new ideas to build a winning bike.

Intriguingly, Rossi now claims there is a Ducati plan that has made him “more comfortable.” 

This just six days after he lamented at the Dutch TT last weekend that Ducati needed a “clearer and better plan” to fix their problems.

Talk is cheap and it seems, for the moment, words are moving faster at Ducati than the GP12 which is hindered by its chronic understeer and savage rear tire wear.

Still unanswered from Ducati and Preziosi is why a plan that has seemingly satisfied Rossi has only appeared this week — and not 21 months ago when he first rode the red bike at Valencia in November 20110.

Rossi again menaced Ducati and Preziosi with his Assen claims about a lack of a proper plan to enable them to win.

Unhappy with his practice form at the Dutch TT, a race that turned into a debacle with a chunking rear Bridgestone tire forcing a pit stop, Rossi finished 13th.

When asked in the lead-up to this Sunday’s German GP at the Sachsenring if he had spoken with Preziosi since Assen about his request for “better plan” Rossi said, “Yes, I have spoken more deeply and Ducati has some ideas and not just for the engine but also to improve the chassis and the reliability of the bike.

“Something will arrive before Laguna Seca — at the test in the Mugello — and something else after the break, in August. It looks like we have a plan for the future and the second part of the season. I hope we can improve.”

A plan for the future? Let’s see if a revised engine spec for smoother low-end response and a long-awaited chassis tune-up end allow Rossi to relax his vocal cords. Preziosi must have done some smooth talking this week to convince Rossi that there is now really a plan that will satisfy him.

“I am more comfortable (with the latest plan) and the situation is quite easy to see, I am never fast enough with this bike except in the wet,” he said. “So we have to try to fix this and improve our performance. Until now we have not been able to make any improvement but we have a plan.

“I don’t know if the engine will be ready for the Mugello test.

“With the chassis it will not be a modification but some parts with a different shape and weight distribution, and it is the first step to understand the way to follow next year and if it is the right way to improve the bad feeling that I have.”

If the engine and chassis package being readied for Laguna Seca is not the answer then it will also be interesting to see the outcome of the next round of ‘talks.’

At the Portuguese GP in April Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said he wanted to talk to Rossi during the summer about continuing in 2013.

At the time Domenicali said of meetings instigated between Preziosi and Rossi in Portugal, “We have had some long meetings that have involved both Filippo and Valentino and I think there is now a common direction for the future.”

Go figure. Just what Ducati’s new owners at Audi, known for their engineering and racing excellence, think of this situation is unanswered.

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