News & Multimedia

MotoGP Superstar Rossi Makes Long-Awaited Debut In Ducati Red

The dream of millions of MotoGP fans worldwide became reality this week: Rossi in red.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi made his first official appearance as a Ducati Team rider Jan. 11 at the annual “VROOM” preseason media event in the Italian Alps. Italian superstar Rossi moved to the iconic Italian team after the 2010 season and will pair with American MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. Rossi spent the last seven seasons with Yamaha, winning four world titles.

“It will be an emotional challenge; it will be difficult, but I’m happy because there’s a lot of extra motivation,” Rossi said. “They’re very excited at Ducati. They believe in me, and we’ll do our best.”

Rossi, known as “The Doctor,” will race on a Ducati at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the fourth annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28. He won the inaugural event in 2008.

The 2011 MotoGP season starts March 20 with a night race in Qatar, but Rossi has plenty of work to do to regain his fitness after offseason shoulder surgery. He injured the shoulder during motocross training early last season, and it hampered his ability to keep pace with former Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who won the 2010 World Championship.

“Honestly, I had hoped to be a little better by this time,” Rossi said. “But instead it’s going to be quite a race to have decent fitness in time for the first test (Feb. 1-3 in Malaysia). 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. The doctors assured me that the shoulder will return to 100 percent in a few months.”

Ducati also unveiled its GP11 motorcycle that Rossi and Hayden will ride in the 2011 season. Engineers tweaked the engine to obtain a flatter power curve, and new aerodynamics were created for the bodywork to create less lift, more top speed and less fuel consumption.

The bike also features a reworked rear swingarm, fork and electronics.

Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky., enters his third consecutive season with Ducati. This year is a reunion of sorts for “The Kentucky Kid,” as Hayden and Rossi were teammates at the Repsol Honda Team in 2003, Hayden’s rookie season.

Improvement has been a recurring theme with 2006 MotoGP World Champion Hayden during his tenure with Ducati. His first season, in 2009, was disappointing as he finished 13th in the standings. But he rebounded last year to finish seventh as he became more accustomed to the unique culture and working style of Ducati.

“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,” Hayden said. “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. We’ve made a couple of little tweaks for next year by adding some staff and a few engineers to help me. I have a strong team around me. 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.”

***

2011 tickets: 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets are on sale now.

To buy tickets, visit www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at IMS.

Race Day general admission tickets cost $40, with Friday general admission $10 and Saturday general admission $20. A three-day general admission ticket is $60. A Friday-Saturday general admission ticket is $25.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the three days of the event when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Race Day reserved seat prices will start at $70.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
MotoGP Superstar Rossi Makes Long-Awaited Debut In Ducati Red
 
MotoGP Superstar Rossi Makes Long-Awaited Debut In Ducati Red
The dream of millions of MotoGP fans worldwide became reality this week: Rossi in red. Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi made his first official appearance as a Ducati Team rider Jan. 11 at the annual "VROOM" preseason media event in the Italian Alps.
Read More
Related Media
Takuma Sato Marmom Wasp
 
Sato Revels in Indianapolis 500 History with Marmon Wasp
On the eve of seeing his likeness unveiled on the Borg-Warner Trophy as the latest Indianapolis 500 winner, Takuma Sato had the opportunity to sit where it all began.
Read More
Kyle Kaiser
 
Kaiser, Juncos Racing Reveal Four-Race Verizon IndyCar Series Plan for 2018
Kyle Kaiser will remain in familiar surroundings when he makes his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2018. Juncos Racing, the team for which Kaiser has driven the past four years as he climbed the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder, announced today that it will field the reigning Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion for four Verizon IndyCar Series races next season.
Read More
Robert Wickens
 
Wickens Joins Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2018 IndyCar Season
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).
Read More
Takuma Sato
 
Sato Shines with Gratitude during Unveiling of Likeness on Borg-Warner Trophy
Sato repeated what he had told sculptor Will Behrends when examining a clay likeness during a visit to the artist’s workshop in Tryon, N.C.: “He’s actually a better guy.” It’s the 28th likeness Behrends has sculpted.
Read More
Martin Sonka
 
Sonka Keeps Cool As World Championship Showdown Looms on Race Day
Martin Sonka doesn’t even want to think about the obvious, let alone discuss it. But there’s only so much reality he can block out. Sonka, the Master Class points-leading pilot from the Czech Republic, can claim his first World Championship with a victory in the Red Bull Air Race on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,798
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21