Valentino Rossi accused Randy de Puniet of holding him up in qualifying after the Ducati star could only manage 11th on the grid at Misano. Rossi was on his final attempt of the one-hour session but came across a touring De Puniet at turn 14, costing him time.
The Misano circuit is a short distance away from his home town of Tavullia and Rossi was desperate to start inside the top ten. Without the hold-up, the 32 year old felt that would have been the case.
“Today went a bit better. We changed the setup a little compared to yesterday, and then we stuck with that, making small steps. There were no longer parts of the track where I lost a lot of time compared to the others, as we reached a steady level around the entire lap, although of course we're still not as fast as we'd like to be. I was a little unfortunate on what would have been my fast lap, because after three good sectors, I came upon De Puniet going slow in the final hairpin before the last two left-handers, and there alone I lost half a second. Otherwise I could have done a 1:34.0 and started from the third row, which is what we had set out to do. Anyway, I'm not too bad in terms of pace, so we'll see what we can do in the race tomorrow.”
Teammate Nicky Hayden fared even worse, qualifying all the way back in 15th after problems with the front end of the GP11.1. The American expects to be stronger in tomorrow's race and hopes to give the thousands of Ducati fans something to cheer about.
“This morning wasn't bad to start with. I had used tyres from yesterday and was able to find a rhythm and do some decent laps. As has been the case lately though, things got worse in the afternoon. I was pushing the front, and I had a lot of front chatter, even with the soft tyres. It's tough for Ducati here at their home, with the team trying hard and all the fans wanting to see us do something. I've got to believe the bike is better than fifteenth, so I've got to do a better job myself. It's not the day we hoped for, and we'll try to do better in the race tomorrow.”