dave_m wrote:I'm not sure it means Ducati have changed if they still haven't delivered a competitive bike. Whether it's because they aren't listening, aren't understanding, aren't trying, aren't capable or aren't executing, it's all the same in the end. Hayden isn't going to speak up, that's not his style, and it's now looking like Ducati won't be competitive until 2013 at the earliest. Why wouldn't Rossi speak up?
And Ducati isn't looking good here, they've gone from Stoner saying they didn't want to do the necessary upgrades to it looking like they can't, even if they try. Could they even sign a rider as good as Hayden to replace Rossi if he left after 2012?
It appears to me that they have changed the materials and design of the bike and to a large extent it seems they have solved the lack of front end feel problem. However that was only one of the fundamental problems they had with their bike. Rossi asked for a bike with a strong front end, for what ever reason Ducati have been unable or unwilling to give him this. Whether it is the rear bias caused by an unwillingness to change the engine configuration that is to blame, or whether it is just Ducati working one problem at a time through their issues, is anyone's guess .
I suspect Ducati have done everything to fix their issues and learn as much as they can on the way, one issue at a time. They have just left the L configuration till last, hoping that it wouldn't be an issue once the feel problem was addressed but now the head honchos have said leave the L. Nicky's result was not encouraging he is still way two far off the pace. I suspect even Casey couldn't put this Ducati on the podium, he was never 1.5 seconds a lap faster than Nicky. Ducati need to listen to Rossi and give him a bike with a strong front end. Its not as if he has a unusual style, he has proven that a bike built around him will be equally useful in anyone else's hands.
Rossi is only human. If he has tried privately appealing to Ducati and they were not making the right noises, then I dont think his public prodding of Ducati is uncalled for. It appears to me that Ducati need to be saved from themselves and if anyone has the clout to do it its Rossi. I hope the Paddock and press largely support him, it would be a shame if the fall from grace story is deemed to be more newsworthy than backing him and asking Ducati the obvious hard questions. MotoGP might not need Rossi but I firmly believe it needs Ducati and I'm sure they wont survive beyond this year unless they get on the same page as Rossi pronto.