Ducati Duo Hoping For Rain on Race Day

by Louis Suddaby

Ducati duo Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi are pinning their hopes on a wet race if they are going to trouble the front runners at Silverstone.

Nicky Hayden qualified seventh which is his best grid slot of the season but was over two seconds slower than pole man Casey Stoner and the American revealed that the GP11 machine still feels unstable in dry conditions.

“Although we had problems, this is my best qualifying position of the year, but to be two seconds off is too much. We tried some options to get it better, but from my first outing of the weekend, we haven't really gone much faster. We tried stuff to make it better—maybe we tried to do too much—and we haven't improved. Certainly the front isn't good over the bumps, and the rear is spinning a lot and moving around. It was pretty frustrating, really, but I hope for rain tomorrow. Doing 20 laps in the wet around here wouldn't be easy, but I think it would help our chances.”

Valentino Rossi had a terrible day and will start 14th, his worst qualifying result since 2007 and admits that rain is his only hope of challenging for a strong result.

“It's been a very difficult day—actually, a very difficult weekend. We were a long way off Friday, but in a way it was understandable since I didn't know the track. Today, though, I had hoped to do much better, but we only lowered our time by one second, while the others cut two. The gap is considerable, and we're even having trouble compared to the other Ducatis, so evidently we haven't managed to work well at this track. I'm having difficulty riding, I'm slow on corner entry, and I'm not able to take the lines I want. We found many things with the bike's settings, but without making progress. They're saying it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we'll see. I don't think we can be as competitive in the wet as we have been on other tracks, but it would probably be a bit better than dry. Anyway, we have to do the best with what we have.”

The MotoGP race is second on the schedule tomorrow and will start at 1pm, amd with rain forecast for the afternoon, the two Ducati riders’ will be anxiously watching the skies tomorrow.

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