Valentino Rossi says he and the Ducati team must take equal responsibility for their poor performance in the British Grand Prix. The seven-time MotoGP champion qualified only 13th at Silverstone, and finished over a minute off the lead in sixth.
Although Rossi was at an experience disadvantage having missed last year's inaugural race at the revised Silverstone due to his broken leg, he said there were bigger issues than just a lack of track knowledge holding him back this weekend.
"We knew that my lack of experience here compared to the others would hurt us, but it's also true that we haven't managed to improve our set-up as well as we should have," he said. "In fact, today Nicky [Hayden] managed to have a nice race and ride well, even setting the fastest lap, which demonstrates that the Ducati is competitive in the wet.
"We didn't improve enough though, and that made it hard for me, as the bike was difficult to ride and I couldn't push hard.
"We're all responsible — me, the bike, and the team — so together we'll try to improve and return to the level we were at in Le Mans and Catalunya as soon as possible, and then take another step forward."
With Hayden finishing fourth and Rossi sixth, the Italian felt the end result was still acceptable.
"Without a doubt, this weekend was the most difficult so far this season, but we at least managed to do a good job of limiting the damage," he said. "Considering how we came into the race, sixth place is a fairly positive result that helps us to stay not too far from the top of the standings in fourth, which isn't bad."
Hayden was relatively satisfied with fourth, but reckoned he should have managed a podium.
"To be honest, I really liked my chances for a podium in the rain today; if you'd have told me before the race that I could have fourth, I'd have said, 'No thanks, I can do better,' but I'm not disappointed with my ride," he said.
"I didn't get a great start because the clutch was jumpy, and for the first few laps, it was hard to see and to get heat in the tyres. I had a big moment on the exit of Turn 1 and actually jarred my shoulder pretty good, but I tried to hang in there.
"I saw Colin [Edwards] in front of me for the podium, and I really pushed. I think that's the first time I've ever had the fastest lap on a Ducati, which is kind of cool even if you don't get points for it."