Valentino Rossi Tests Desmosedici GP12 at Mugello

Cycle News Staff | May 26, 2011

Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi continued to prepare for the 2012 season with his second test of the Desmosedici GP12 at one the race tracks where he’s had the most success, his home Mugello circuit north of Florence, Italy.The nine-time world champion rode the Desmosedici on Wednesday and today, the last of a three-day test at the Italian circuit where he won every race from 2002 through 2008. (It’s also the track where last year he broke his femur during practice.) Team manager Vitto Guareschi and test rider Franco Battaini tested the previous two days.Rossi and teammate Nicky Hayden first tested the GP12 at Jerez in early April. This week’s test was a chance to try the updates recommended by Rossi and Hayden after the first test, as well as to allow Rossi to get time on the completely resurfaced race track.”I’m pleased, because it was a positive test,” Rossi said after completing 60 laps on a warm and sunny day. “We took full advantage of the time we had, because the track and weather conditions were perfect. I liked the new asphalt a lot. The surface is smooth, those holes that I knew so well are now gone, and the grip is fantastic. I must say they’ve done a great job, because if it’s possible, riding here at Mugello is now even better than before.”I’m happy to have come back here to test after my injury last year, because it was a nice feeling and a good day. We started around 11:00 this morning, and we completed sixty laps in all-many kilometers without any problems, either physical or with the GP12. We tested everything that Filippo (Preziosi) had planned to try, and we’re satisfied because, although we’re still at a pretty early stage, we’re going in the right direction.”Preziosi was also pleased with the results of the test.”We completed our second day of testing the GP12 with Vale,” Preziosi said. “I must say it’s a strange sensation, but also a really nice one, to be here at Mugello with Valentino, on a track where we’ve been rivals so many times in the past.”We worked on the electronics and various other updates to next season’s bike, some of which were made following the requests that Vale and Nicky had given us during their first outing with the bike about a month ago at Jerez. It was a useful and positive test that will enable us to continue with the development of the GP12, which has some new details coming soon. Working with Valentino is always very nice from a technical perspective, and we were lucky with the weather, as we had perfect conditions. Vale also really appreciated the new asphalt: we have to compliment the folks at Mugello, because they really did a great job.”