Ducati riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both admit they must find the perfect set-up with the GP12 machine if they are to be competitive at Silverstone this weekend. Rossi put in his strongest showing of the year in the dry last time out and hopes to achieve that level of performance again on Sunday.
“I have a one-season 'disadvantage' at Silverstone compared to the other riders, who started a year ahead of me, so I'll have to ride as much as possible during the practice sessions in order to understand the track well, as last year was quite difficult. During the Aragon test last week, we found some small things with the electronics and worked a bit on the settings. Now we'll see how it works in England. We hope I'll be able to ride well, that we'll find a good setup and that we can stay at the same level in the dry as we were at the Barcelona GP, although our chances will be better if it rains.”
Hayden expects set-up to be so important because of the number of high-speed corners around Silverstone. The American is keen to get closer to his teammate after trailing him by 16 seconds at Catalunya.
“It's exciting to go to Silverstone. We've been there two years now, but each time it's been a little different, with changes to the pavement or the pit complex, so it's a little like going to a new track. With the lap being so long, you've really got to take advantage of any dry time you get to find a good setup, as the sessions go by really quickly. There are so many different corners, and it's really important to dial in the electronics for all the sections. I'd say we lean on the electronics more there than at some other tracks. It's fast and open, with high-speed corners, and I really like it. The last couple of races haven't been great, but we just have to hang in there and try to take a step. It won't be easy, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.”