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Rossi: 'It'd take snow for me to win'

The nine-time champion jokes on how he could win a race this season

FINISHING outside of the top five again at Laguna Seca Valentino Rossi thinks his chances of winning this season are slim, joking that it would take snow for him to reach first place.

As Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa - what Rossi calls the 'first group' - crossed the line the Italian struggled to sixth place and 30 seconds back of the leader. Another race without challenging for the top positions, something that has become expected from Rossi having taken a win every year since his career began in 1996.

“I already take and face this problem, because from '96 I win minimum one race.” started Rossi, “In fact, I want to win one race also this year. But if don't snow [laughing], maybe is difficult. But is also, like I say, for me, I am always very realistically, I don't like to speak about dream. I'm happy if we can fight with the second group. That is mean maybe sometimes also the podium. But I think with Stoner and Lorenzo this year, no way. But I hope I'm wrong.”

Getting near the first group - aka ‘the Aliens’ - will be difficult for Valentino, as he notes, they are in a better shape physically and are able to ride faster and in a better way. The group targeted by the nine-time champion is the next bunch along of Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli, reaching them performance-wise would allow the Italian and his team to ‘drink a lot of champagne’ although he adds, “hopefully.”

However to reach this second group Rossi, using Laguna Seca as an example, would need to claw a gap of 10 seconds on his Ducati Desmosedici. To achieve this goal an improvement is needed for current state of the MotoGP machine, “For make this improvement, we have different area to work. Something with the electronic, something about the rear grip that is like with the new bike, the bike work better, but we lose some grip, and after, the problem of the front, because we don't have enough bite, enough grip from the front tyre, so difficult to turn.”

Insiders have been stating that Rossi is calling for a change from the stiff carbon chassis to a more conventional concept, he remained coy in the press debrief on whether this is the case, “I don't know. Because I am a rider. I don't know. I don't have the answer. I hope that Ducati have some answer. Or one answer. One is enough. We hope is the right one.”

Over the past two races Rossi has found himself battling with teammate Nicky Hayden, with each rider on different versions of the Desmosedici, the GP11.1 and GP11 respectively. The problem encountered with the prototype Ducati has been with front-end feel, an issue carried over on both of the bikes, “The problem is - the problem that make us lose more time is on the front. Because the lack of grip of the front tyre is the bigger problem. And the two bikes have the same, so we need to fix something for the front.”

Rossi currently sits in fifth place in the championship on 108 points, his plan for the second half of the season is to hit 200 points and close the gap ahead.