MOTOGP superstar and new Ducati recruit Valentino Rossi has made his first appearance in the striking red colours for the new season.
In the first pictures of Rossi’s new Dainese leathers, the Italian has continued his long-standing superstition with the trademark yellow combined with the red of Ducati and a touch of black.
The Wrooom event marks the first time that, free from the Yamaha contract, Rossi has been able to comment on the Ducati Desmosedici: “The Ducati is a real prototype, very different from the Japanese motorcycles that I know.”
“It has to be ridden in a completely different way, but I'm sure we will be able to make it work.” continued Rossi, speaking at the press conference.
Worryingly for the championship ahead, the shoulder that Rossi injured in a motocross accident last April is still hampering the Italian, “The shoulder is not as good as I had hoped, we need more time,” Rossi said. “I need five or six months recovery to be 100%, so around April or May is the most likely time.”
Rossi will partner Nicky Hayden (who can be seen below) in a line-up reminiscent of the Repsol Honda team from 2003. In addition it appears that cigarette sponsorship has officially left motorcycle racing, with the disappearance of Marlboro and the bar-code from the riders' leathers, replaced with a litter of sponsors' logos - including the partnership between the Italian manufacturer and AMG Mercedes.
Ducati will unveil the Desmosedici GP11 that Rossi will pilot this year when the Wrooom 2011 event continues tomorrow.