On a weekend that looked to be spoilt by bad weather, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi put a smile on fans’ faces with a trademark show in the wet at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, to record his and the team’s best result since joining the Italian outfit last year.
Having struggled slightly in previous races, Rossi’s podium, as well as teammate Nicky Hayden’s sixth place, were a welcome boost for the team, which will look to carry this momentum through to it’s test this week, and the following race in Catalunya in just under two week’s time.
Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi highlighted the importance of this result: “This result is very important for us, because we worked very hard this weekend. We started with a little problem on Friday, but we improved day by day, which got us the good result with Valentino.Nicky also rode a good race with a good rhythm.”
Whilst the wet-weather pace of the Desmosedici has been proven at the French round, Guareschi is keeping his feet firmly on the ground with respect to the bike’s overall performance: “It’s important now to improve the bike in dry conditions. The path is long, but it is possible to solve the problem. We have an important test this week in Mugello. We have two days with both riders and we have some new parts to try out. This is a good opportunity to improve our bike.Filippo Preziosi [General and Technical Director] understands what the riders need and I think this is a good opportunity.”
Improvements are expected at the test, yet the Italian comments on the importance of not getting carried away with expectations: “It’s impossible to improve by one second each race, we need take it step by step. But this weekend we made a good step and we want to continue in this way.”
Rossi, who started on the third row of the grid is naturally elated by his performance: “I’m really, really happy. We knew we had a special opportunity in the wet today, so I tried to ride perfectly and not throw it away. It was a great race and a nice, fun battle with Stoner to the last lap. I enjoyed myself and I’m happy for my team and all the guys at Ducati, who are working so hard for me. Now we must continue giving our all until we’re also able to be competitive in the dry.”
Guareschi mirrored his compatriot’s thoughts: “Today Valentino was in a situation where he could ride as he’s capable of doing, and he gave us a great show.”