Valentino Rossi has warned that Ducati cannot expect miracles in the 2012 MotoGP season opener in Qatar.
In the wake of a troubled preseason in which Rossi feels the team took the wrong direction initially the Italian says Ducati will enter Doha neither "too excited" nor "too depressed." He also drew parallels between Ducati's situation and that of Ferrari in Formula 1, but said he did not know whether the team would be capable of an upset akin to Fernando Alonso's surprise victory in Malaysia.
"I don't know whether it's possible for us to do such a miracle in Doha," Rossi was quoted as saying in relation to Ferrari's Malaysian triumph by Gazzetta dello Sport. "This is our real situation at this time: not too excited like at Sepang [test] one, nor so depressed like at Sepang two.
"I've told [Filippo] Preziosi [Ducati Corse general manager] what are the things that don't work. After the first test in Malaysia someone had some 'marvelous ideas' that turned out to be s**t."
Rossi said that the wrong direction the team had taken at Sepang had severely limited what it had then been able to learn from the final test at Jerez, although he said he still hopes the bike can be developed as the season progresses.
"We began the Jerez test with the ideas that came up in that Sepang second test, which turned out to be wrong," Rossi admitted. "The rain on the second day made us lose plenty of time, so on the third day we had to do everything we didn't manage to do before, and when we had reached a decent point there was no more time nor tires.
"At least I've managed to do 15 consecutive laps. This is our position at the moment, and if everything goes well we'll be able to do it again in Qatar. Let's keep in mind that this bike has only done eight track days, so I hope we'll be able to improve it during the season."