Disappointing Showing From Ducati In Free Practice

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Wanting to impress at his, and the factory Ducati squad’s, home grand prix, Valentino Rossi was hoping to put in enough track time in order to hook his bike up to the Mugello circuit. However after only 10 laps, the home hero was let down, when his Ducati suffered a technical issue which kept him in the garage for the entire session.

When free practice two rolled around, the weather took a turn for the worse. With light rain making the track too wet for slicks, but too dry for wets, Rossi spent the whole session stuck in the garage again, ending the day in 13th place.

“It's almost as if we didn't have practice today.” said Rossi

“This morning we only had one complete outing, which went pretty well. Then we had problems with both of the bikes, and I was left with the time that I did on my fourth lap. They were really just minor problems, but the fact is that we didn't ride anymore after the early minutes. On the first bike, a wire touched a hot part and the bike stopped, while the other bike had a separate electrical problem, and the result was the same. The afternoon session was halfway between wet and dry, so it was useless.” he continued.

Ending on a slight positive, Rossi added,  “Only in the final minutes were we able to do three laps to check some changes we had made, and the results seemed interesting. We hope we can try them more thoroughly tomorrow to see how competitive we are in normal conditions. Having tested the GP12 here gives us a starting point, but we still have to adapt the 800's setup, as it requires different lines in order to maintain corner speed. Tomorrow we'll continue to test, and we hope to get close to the others.”

Nicky Hayden spent the session working on chassis setup, and finished the day in 8th place. Just like Rossi, the afternoon session was a washout for the American.“We were pretty strong in our first run this morning. We didn't improve much from there, but I used the same hard tyre the whole session, and it worked well here on both sides. We made a couple little changes with the bike that felt like they were in a good direction. I did my fastest lap on the step 1 chassis, but the data showed that the step 2 had some pluses.” he said.

He continued, “This afternoon was wet one minute and dry the next. It looked like guys were destroying their wet tyres quick, and there was no point in putting on engine mileage and taking risks. We just went out to check a power setting on a practice start. We'll see what tomorrow brings.”

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