Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished eight and ninth, respectively, in the German Grand Prix, after a nice charge by the Italian and a subsequent three-way battle with his teammate and Alvaro Bautista. Of course the result isn?t what the two Ducati Team riders had hoped for, but the work carried out over the weekend helped them to gather important information.
After Saturday?s very difficult qualifying session, Valentino and his team found a setting for the GP11.1 that enabled him to improve his pace by approximately five tenths.
Nicky won the duel with his teammate for eighth place, although he had hoped to be closer to the front after a good showing in practice.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
?I tried to go with that group in front of me off the start, but about the second or third lap I had a pretty big moment over the bumps in Turn 1 and they took off. From there I had a big battle with Bautista and Vale. It was fun, with a lot of overtaking, but battling for seventh place, 27 seconds back is hard for me to take at a track that I love and where I?ve been on the podium several times. I got to seventh toward the end and did my best lap, but they came with me. Bautista got me on my last lap, at the bottom of the hill. I re-passed him in the last corner, but he squared it up and nipped me to the line. It?s easy to say now, but I wish I raced the soft tyre. Thanks to the team and everybody that worked hard, but we had better hopes for today, going into Laguna.?
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th
?Today went a little better. This morning in the warm-up we made a change to the setup that helped me to slightly improve the feeling compared to the very, very difficult practice sessions. After the opening laps, I realized that my pace was the same as that of Nicky and Bautista?s group, maybe even a little faster, but I had small glitches with the gearbox in the second half of the race. It was mainly hurting me in the last corner, when I changed to third, because the bike wheelied and it took me half the straightaway before I could put it back down. At the end of the race, I wanted to pass Nicky on the brakes into the first corner, where I was pretty strong, but instead even Bautista passed me on the straight. Anyway, that?s not where we want to be. We definitely improved today compared to Saturday, but we?re still too far back. We find the race setup late, and that makes everything more difficult, but in order to improve we have to try many things, which makes it easy to lose our direction. It?s understandable, because we don?t know this bike well and I think we have to take chances and try everything. Now we?ll analyze the data from this weekend and decide what to do for Laguna Seca.?
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
?It was a very difficult weekend, as we had to work really hard until the last minute in order to put Valentino in a position to have a decent race. Of course our goals are different from our today?s results, but it?s positive that we were able to find a setup, even if it was at the last minute, that let Vale lap half a second faster than in qualifying. Nicky had a close call in the opening laps and lost a little confidence, but he regained it in the second half of the race, maintaining a good rhythm until the finish.?
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