MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi was officially presented as a Ducati rider on Tuesday at the Wrooom Press Ski Meeting in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
Rossi meets the media as a Ducati rider Casey stoner
Now free from his Yamaha contract, Rossi was able to wear full Ducati Marlboro colours and talk publically about the 2011 Ducati Desmosedici, with which he will try to become the first rider in history to win premier-class titles for three different manufacturers.
"The Ducati is a real prototype, very different from the Japanese motorcycles that I know, " said Rossi, speaking at a press conference.
"It has to be ridden in a completely different way, but I'm sure we will be able to make it work".
The seven time MotoGP champion was just 15th
fastest on his Ducati debut, in plain black, during
testing at Valencia in November - after which he
underwent surgery on the shoulder injury he had
carried since falling from a motocross bike in April.
Rossi warned that he is unlikely to regain full strength in the shoulder until this April.
"The shoulder is not as good as I had hoped, we need more time", he said. "I need five or six months recovery [after the operation] to be 100%, so around April or May is the most likely time".
"That means Rossi won ’t be able to make the most of the three pre-season tests, starting at Sepang on February 1" , "in Malaysia I will be at about 70%" - and will not be at full strength for his Ducati race debut at Qatar on March 20.
Rossi won the 500cc/MotoGP title in 2001 (Honda),
2002 (Honda), 2003 (Honda), 2004 (Yamaha), 2005
(Yamaha), 2008 (Yamaha) and 2009 (Yamaha). His 2010 title hopes ended when he broke his leg
during practice for round four, in Italy, whilst trailing
team-mate and eventual champion Jorge Lorenzo in the points.
After missing four races, Rossi returned to take one final Yamaha victory and finished third in the championship. Ducati has won the MotoGP title once, with Casey Stoner in 2007. Stoner has taken all but one of Ducati’s 24 race wins since the start of the 800cc era in 2007.