Marlboro Ducati's Valentino Rossi didn't manage to achieve his goal of staying within one second of Casey Stoner during the final day of MotoGP testing at Sepang but is pragmatic enough to say work on the new GP12 has only just started.
The nine-time world champion finished 1.2s behind Stoner's Repsol Honda but less than four tenths slower than Ben Spies in fourth place and, importantly, Rossi was ahead of the satellite machinery he was dicing with in 2011.
“We on the team are all happy with how this test has gone, especially today. With a 2:00.8, we’re starting to get to a decent time. The two Hondas and the two Yamahas are still ahead of us, but we consider this test to be a starting point. The most positive things we’ve achieved are that the front now lets me ride a little more as I’m able, that the bike reacts well to changes," said The Doctor.
"We have very clear ideas on what’s still missing. In particular, if we manage to improve the bike’s behaviour on acceleration, we’ll be able to take a consistent step forward. I know that the work has never stopped at Ducati, and now with the information we’ve gathered, they’ll keep working on the areas that we’ve identified. That might take a while, but there’s still some time before the first race. We have to keep improving, so we’re not getting too excited, but I’m pleased with how things have gone so far.”