Sunday, July 17, 2011

Third row for Hayden, difficult qualifying for Rossi

Nicky Hayden Sachsenring 2011

The qualifying session for the German Grand Prix went very differently for Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi. Hayden posted the eighth-best time, four tenths from the first row, after lapping all weekend at a pace that was very close to that of the top riders. The Italian wasn’t able to find a setup that gave him a good feeling, and tomorrow he’ll face an uphill race, starting from the sixteenth spot on the grid.

Nicky Hayden:
“I had hoped to be on the second row here, because I’ve been in the top six all weekend until this afternoon, and we know qualifying is so important at this track. Yesterday I had better grip when the track was cooler in the morning, and it was the same thing again today. When the track temperature comes up in the afternoon, I begin pushing the front. I’m not really happy with my lap time or my position. This morning I did 1'22.5 on a used soft tyre from yesterday, and I only managed a little better in qualifying. The team has done a good job because they found me some extra rear grip, which is so important around here, but then we just can’t find that front grip that we really need. There’s no doubt that it will be tough, but we’ll try to do something tomorrow when it counts.”

Valentino Rossi:
“Today we obviously had some big problems, or rather we haven’t managed to find a good compromise between the improved traction and acceleration that we’ve achieved with this bike, and front-end confidence, which is still missing. I’m not able to load the front and make it work like I can with the GP12 engine in the same chassis, which is why we’ve been so slow and are so far back. Naturally, we’re very disappointed, but we really can’t say that we haven’t tested because here we had four sessions with normal weather, and we tried many things. We’re thinking about a solution for the coming races in order to resume the positive improving trend that we were on until Barcelona."

Ducati Team press release

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