Ducati endured a disastrous qualifying session at Silverstone as both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden crashed at the Vale corner. Rossi was the first to fall as the front end folded under braking fifteen minutes in with his American teammate suffering a near-identical crash towards the end.
Rossi will start tenth on the grid tomorrow and admits he is still learning certain aspects of the Silverstone circuit and is hoping to get a firmer understanding in tomorrow's warm-up prior to the race.
“Today was pretty difficult. Shortly after qualifying started, I crashed when approaching the last chicane, a tricky part of the track where you brake hard and where there's a small crest and a depression. The bike unweights there and you can lose the front. We struggle there because we don't have much grip on the front, so tomorrow we'll have to be particularly careful. Also, although I rode better today, I still don't understand this track as I should, and in some parts I'm not as effective as I would like to be. Anyway, I did my best time with the hard tyre. I had two softs to use at the end, but of course it started raining right when it was time to put them on. We'll see what conditions we'll have tomorrow, and if it's dry for the warm-up, we'll try something to help us go a bit better.”
Hayden will start slightly higher in seventh but he was left to rue his fall which came on a lap which could've put him on the front row.
“Qualifying was going pretty well for a while, as I was closer to the front and the bike felt good. I put in a new soft tyre and went out for my first real qualifying run, and most of the lap felt really good. Then coming over that crest in the last section, I lost the front without much warning. I don't really have an excuse. I was in there hot, but it felt good when I first got on the brakes. Crashing is part of motorcycle racing, but I just wish I could have finished that lap. It's a bit strange that Valentino and I did the exact same crash, but maybe we can understand something from the data. Considering that I crashed out so early, seventh on the grid isn't too bad, but I definitely feel we were capable of more today.”