Holding a press conference this morning at the Wrooom media event in the Dolomite Mountains, Valentino Rossi finally got a chance to officially talk to the press about his experience testing the Ducati at Valencia late last year, and his general impressions on riding with Ducati Corse. Commenting that “the Ducati is different from all the other bikes, it’s a proper prototype, the concept is different from the Japanese factories,” Rossi went on to explain that “you need a bit of a ‘dirtier’ style to ride the Desmosedici.”

In addition to his thoughts, official photos of Rossi’s leathers (Nicky Hayden’s as well, but to less fanfare) have been released by Ducati Corse, which see Rossi’s neon yellow color scheme mixed in with the red and white of Ducati Corse. The clashing colors might not please the aesthetically critical, but we have a feeling people will get used to the arrangement. Photos of the GP11’s race livery are expected tomorrow (Wednesday).

Talking on his shoulder, Rossi admitted that he still has pain, and likely won’t be 100% at the March 20th MotoGP season opener in Qatar. Rossi hopes to be fully-healed by April, which could mean the second (Jerez) or third (Motegi) race of the season. “Honestly, I had hoped to be a little better by this time,” said Rossi. “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. 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,” explained the nine-time World Champion. “We’ll have to meet each other halfway: make the bike like I like, and as for me, adapt my riding style a little to try and make the most of the bike. It will be an emotional challenge; it will be difficult, but I’m happy because there’s a lot of extra motivation. They’re very excited at Ducati; they believe in me, and we’ll do our best!”

As expected, Nicky Hayden has officially jumped ship from Alpinestars to Dainese for the 2011 season, and accordingly will ride in Dainese leathers, boots, and gloves. Hayden however has stayed with Arai for the upcoming season, and will not be joining Rossi as an AGV helmet wearer (Rossi holds a minor interest in AGV helmets). Following the trend with Dainese riders, Hayden has opted for the leathers-over-boots look, which we know will delight at least one unnamed A&R WSBK correspondent, while the rest of us notice this for the first time.

“This my third year with Ducati,”  said Hayden. “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. 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,” continued Hayden. “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. I know our team; the motivation is really high, and the excitement with the fans in Italy is high as well. I can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like when get to Mugello.”

Photos of Valentino Rossi in Ducati Corse Leathers:

Photos of Nicky Hayden in Ducati Corse Leathers:

Source: Ducati Corse

  • Faster1

    Those leathers are a total fail! That’s the “mega crotch man” super hero costume. What happened to sublime Italian fashion? And don’t get me started on the trademark yellow legs that for the first time look completely out of place.
    Vale! you are part owner!

  • pokheng

    faster1….who care what u think????if u don’t like it, get lost…..

    this it what we as Rossi’s fans waiting for many years to happen….now the day is come…

    and the bike will come out soon……..

  • Other Sean

    Pokheng…I care what faster1 think. I think he smart. I agree. But I no tell you get lost. You stay. You funny.

  • 333

    holy ugly…

  • bob


  • DG7

    I could care less about the leather color combination. What matters most to me is the fact that Rossi and Hayden are together again and they more than likely will conquer MotoGP this coming season.

    Opinions are not truth. People are entitled to their own so don’t knock someone for having one that doesn’t agree with your taste.

  • Jimmy Midnight

    Fast doesn’t have to be pretty. As long as he delivers on the track it doesn’t matter what he looks like. Besides do you honestly believe he designs his own leathers?

  • Bob

    I can’t wait to see Rossi on the Desmo, schooling Lorenzo!!!!!

  • buellracerx

    ahaha sorry Val, you look just foolish.

    when did McDonald’s get picked up as a sponsor???

  • 1198freak

    Hayden’s leathers look better than Rossi’s, the Yellow looks out of place. But who cares about the leathers, I want to see what the GP11 is gonna look like.

  • Andrey

    You are all missing the obvious…… they will be easy to spot when the race is on television….. good for the viewers!

  • pokheng

    the Yellow looks out of place? that Rossi’s identity also i believe his favourite color/design..his used the color already for years..and it ‘s look better than other riders…i really cannot wait to the see his bike with new color just like his racing suit..

  • Westward

    I believe the article is about the unveiling of the new leathers, not on their racing abilities. Besides, everyone knows, a good set of leathers stylishly designed is good for shaving off at least .5 of a second off ones time… Those must be the IOM versions, which I didn’t know they were participating.

    But seriously, it is horribly misguided. Surely they could have done better then this amateur display. Hayden’s, not so bad But Rossi’s, Oh Come On….

    I’m sure they could have designed the sponsors logos without the amateurish white backgrounds. I thought Dainese was more sophisticated than that. (i.e. Motogp, Shell, Enel, Bridgestone, Generali on the collarbone and the arms, and the Tim as well)

    The Tim on the chest and shoulder is what they need to do with the rest of the logos to make it look more professional, tighten up the label designs at least, and maybe it wont look so bad…

    BTW the actual Generali lion symbol on the race hump in the back should not stretch beyond the hump itself. The fact that it does is a little tacky too.

    Tacky, that’s exactly what it reminds me of…

    I can hear the haters now, referring to Rossi as the McDonalds rider on the Ducati…

  • pokheng

    i believe many fans doesn’t care if only a few people critic on Rossi suit and design…they refer Rossi as McDonalds rider, they doesn’t care…maybe in haters(lorenzo fans?hahah) doesn’t like the design, color but maybe many fans like it or doesn’t care at all…

    all they want, what the most important thing is Rossi not with Yamaha anymore and now with Ducati…and Rossi recovery soon from injury, take the championship from lorenzo…that what they waiting for…i think they doesn’t care much about the design of Rossi racing suit..small matter to think about…

  • pokheng

    design of Rossi suit very similar to his aprilia 250 in year 1998@1999 ..

  • Dr. Gellar


  • Bill Smith

    A kaleidoscope of mismatch color – who dare say those Italians’ don’t have fashion sense/taste???