Qualifying Woes For Ducati

Ducati team mates Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi struggled to perform in todays qualifying session for tomorrows Dutch Grand Prix. Nicky Hayden managed to claim 9th place at the end of the session, mainly due to a change in suspension settings which led to improved feeling from the bike.

“This morning we were trying to learn the step 2 chassis, but with the rain, we never got to compare back-to-back with the step 1 in similar conditions so, for this afternoon, we went with what we knew.” said Hayden. “We struggled a bit at the beginning of qualifying, and then when we put in the soft tyres, we also changed to a different shock setting that helped put some temperature in the tyre. I started getting a better feel and going faster, and like always, it would have been nice to get a few more laps.”

He continued, “It's not why we're on the third row, but when Capirossi crashed, they should have red-flagged the session, because he was in the run-off area of a fast place. We've had just about every condition this weekend, so we'll see what we get tomorrow. It could be a wild race.”

Valentino Rossi suffered from a bike that was setup in yesterday’s wet session. After performing well yesterday, Rossi only had 2 hours to perfect a setup, however he was unable to replicate yesterdays performance, and will start in 11th place.

“We're disappointed with qualifying because we had started quite well yesterday, so clearly, we expected things to go better today.” said Valentino after the session. “We had a decent session this morning, but we weren't able to improve, so we'll start eleventh. The rear of the GP11.1 is better than the previous version, but we weren't able to find a setup that allowed us to bring the tyres up to temperature, and at the moment, that's making it difficult to find the feeling I need to ride hard and be strong on corner entry.”

He continued, “I don't think we've yet learned how to properly adjust the bike, and that's something we knew could happen since we have so little time available. Still, this all helps us to gather experience for the future, and we have some ideas for tomorrow's warm-up session that we hope will help us go faster in the race.”