Disastrous End To 2011 Season For Ducati

The first corner crash at Valencia - Photo Credit: Ducati
The first corner crash at Valencia - Photo Credit: Ducati


Ducati's miserable 2011 MotoGP campaign ended in disaster with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both taken out at the first corner. Alvaro Bautista lost control of his Suzuki after contact with Andrea Dovizioso, sending him into the factory Desmosedicis, as well as Randy de Puniet's Pramac machine.

Rossi's retirement means he finishes seventh overall in the championship, tied on points with the late Marco Simoncelli and the tragic loss of “Super Sic” was still fresh in Rossi's mind two weeks on.

“There's really nothing to say about today, other than that I'm sorry beyond measure not to have been able to put on Sic's T-shirt for the lap of honour. It's truly a shame. I started well and all the conditions were in our favour for having a nice race, but we were unfortunate and received no points here either. We finish the season tied with Sic, with him ahead of me in the standings. I guess that's my tribute to him!”

Fortunately, Rossi was unhurt in the accident, as was Nicky Hayden and the American was particularly disappointed, feeling the GP11.1 would've been competitive in the race.

“I felt some riders coming up the inside really fast as we approached Turn 1. Then something happened and it was just the domino effect—race over in the first corner. I'm okay other than my hand being pretty sore. It's unfortunate. One of our bike's strengths is generating heat in the tyres, and that's what you need on a cold, wet track like this. Already on the warm-up lap, the bike felt good. It's easy to say now, but I honestly feel like we could have put up a decent fight today and had some fun.”

Team Manager Vittoriano Guareschi added that the riders were blameless in the crash and immediately turned his attentions to Tuesday's crucial 1000cc test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

“Today I'm particularly sorry to have to talk about a race in which once again, we weren't able to capitalize on our potential. In practice, both Vale and Nicky demonstrated that they were able to ride this track well in the conditions that we had for the race, but after they both started well, they really were victims of a classic first-turn crash. It happens, but it hurt Ducati worse than the others. There's not much else to say. Now we'll focus on the work that's about to start for 2012.”