Rossi Joins Hayden, Makes Public Debut as Ducati Rider at Wrooom

The 2011 Ducati rider line-up made an impressive appearance at Ducati’s Wrooom Press Ski Meeting, held at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy today. Specifically, Valentino Rossi made his official debut as a Ducati rider, and joined Nicky Hayden for their first press conference as teammates.

Both riders answered various questions coming from the audience, with Hayden revealing his impression as a veteran Ducati rider, and Rossi talking about his physical condition following his recent shoulder surgery.

“This my third year with Ducati,"
Hayden said. "The start was a little bit difficult, but it’s gotten better and better since I’ve been on this team and on this bike. We’ve grown a lot, the bike has improved, and my relationship with the team has improved. We made a big step from the first year to the second, and I’d like to do the same this year. We know we have a good bike."

“I know being teammates with Rossi won’t be easy, but I really don’t get too caught up in that. I focus on my job, and that’s why I think it'll work with us. I'm looking forward to having Valentino's information and feedback. He's been around a long time and has a lot of experience. I think it’ll be fun,”
the Texan rider added.

“Honestly, I had hoped to be a little better by this time,” Valentino said in response to the first question, “but instead, it’s going to be quite a race to have decent fitness in time for the first test. My recovery is exactly on schedule, but it's long: we’re working hard to at least recover mobility in my shoulder, which I’ll need to ride the bike well and to be able to fit behind the windscreen.”

“I won’t be able to be in top form for the first test in Malaysia, because it will be impossible to regain full strength, but I hope to be able to have a good seating position,”
Rossi added. “The doctors assured me that the shoulder will return to 100% in a few months. Obviously, it would’ve been better to be in shape now, because we’ve got a lot of work to do and not much time to do it: three tests before the championship to make the Desmosedici not only very fast—it already is—but also a little easier to ride.”
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