Valentino Rossi says his impressive run to seventh in the San Marino Grand Prix represented the maximum potential of Ducati.
The Italian made superb early progress as spots of rain caused hesitancy in the field, making up a score of places on the outside of Turn 2 alone. Rossi was then able to run with the trio of drivers challenging for fourth – which he attributes to front-end changes on the morning of the race – until his tires eventually faded at the three-quarter distance.
"It was a good race for us, because we didn't expect to be so fast," Rossi explained. "This morning we made a modification to the position of the front tire, and this provided me with better feel so I could push more.
"I did a great start, had a good first and second lap and after that I could stay in contact for the first half of the race. After 18 laps I had problems with the tires, they started to slide, but I'm happy because today I rode well.
"Unfortunately, now this is our potential, but this is better than in a lot of other races. Now we wait to find something new, something better to improve the performance."
Asked whether he could hope to repeat the example of Casey Stoner and Ducati in 2010 – the Australian scored his first win of the season in round 13 – Rossi said he was remaining realistic.
"From that moment Stoner found a change in setting, he had nothing to lose and was able to go all or nothing," Rossi added. "At this moment I am not able to do that. I am hoping to stay closer now though. We have to keep trying, but I think a win is near impossible."