Video: Rossi rides stock 1198

Dailies -



We all know what it looks like when Valentino Rossi climbs aboard one of the lightest, most powerful, fastest motorcycles in the world, but what can he do with the kind of bike typically ridden by mere mortals like you and I? While putting in his first laps of Silverstone in preparation for the British GP on June 10-12, the Superbike Rossi was supposed to ride was sidelined with electrical issues, so this stock Ducati 1198 was called in, complete with lights, mirrors, numberplate and street tires.

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“I really had fun,” stated Rossi. “After a few laps with the 1198 Superbike, we had a problem with the electronics and decided to use the 1198 street bike that Ducati’s UK affiliate rushed to us. I really liked riding that bike here. The track is nice—difficult and very technical. It makes you work hard because there are very fast sections where having the right trajectory is important, and others that are very narrow where you have to have good grip under acceleration. The first turn is completely blind, and you must hold a very precise line, and in general the entire first section is really great, definitely the part I like most. In short, I enjoyed it, especially because there were many drivers and riders who have great histories in motorsports, like John Surtees, who told me that he raced here in the ’50s. I wasn’t following racing then, but he was great.”

  • vegetablecookie

    Hey! How come Vale doesn’t have to tape up all his lights on track day!

  • Steve

    It’s not the tool. It’s the hand holding it. Cliche because it is so true.

  • jwinter

    Probably the only way a bike can appreciate in value after having been ridden on a track.

  • vic06

    Don’t forget the encounter with two hilarious gentlemen, who wanted to hang out with Rossi, as he was trying to rush them to bring the bike to the pit.

    • Scott-jay

      Oooo, thanks Vic!
      Rossi’s leather suit shows well in that video. Nice piece.
      He’s back on the podium with a 3rd place @ LeMans.

  • wwalkersd

    Pardon my ignorance, but why is Rossi riding a Superbike around Silverstone, anyway? Is Silverstone a “new” track for MotoGP, and he’s trying to learn the track?

    • Wes Siler

      They raced there for the first time last year, while he was off with an injury. The next GP is there, so he needed to learn the track. I’m guessing Gran Turismo wasn’t accurate enough.

      • wwalkersd

        Oh. Duh. I was forgetting about Rossi missing a bunch of last season’s events.

  • 85gripen

    Forgive my ignorance, but do MotoGP riders practice on superbikes? I assumed they would practice on the bike that they’re going to actually race or a slightly detuned facsimile (Desmosedici).

    • Wes Siler

      There’s new rules in place that limit the amount of time teams can spend practicing with the GP bikes. It’s intended to cut costs.

      • 85gripen

        Thanks. I’m still surprised that the Ducati team doesn’t use Desmosedici RR as practice bikes then. That’d be closer to the GP bike than an 1198, I would think.

        • Wes Siler

          Well they were supposed to be using an 1198 Superbike racer, not a stock street bike. I’d imagine that Superbike is about the next best thing.

        • Sean Smith

          The Desmo is actually farther away from the GP11 than the 1198. It’s got a 16″ rear wheel that limits tire selection to Bridgestone BT-01s and that’s it. It doesn’t really make a lot of power. It’s rare as hens teeth. And it’s got a big ol’ steel frame, where as the GP bike has a carbon steering head and airbox assembly and that’s it.

          The 1198 is also Much faster.

          • vegetablecookie

            “The 1198 is also Much faster.”

            I never knew. What’s there reasoning for producing the Desmo?

  • Sean Smith

    I hear he set a new lap record for first time riders. Usually they’re limited to 15hp, but someone made a mistake and let him out with the 1198.

    I like how he’s just cruising around the way me or Wes would when we’re checking out a new road. Cool.

  • Patrick

    God! The bark of that thing gets me all hot and bothered. Makes Japanese bikes sound like toys.

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