Good Pace For Rossi Despite Qualifying Slip, Hayden Eleventh
After a very positive trio of practice sessions, a minor low-side fall in Turn 8 influenced Valentino Rossi’s qualifying result at Jerez. Third on Friday and sixth in Saturday morning’s free-practice, the Italian will have to start from the twelfth spot on the grid, from where he will nonetheless try to take advantage of the good work carried out on the GP11’s setup this weekend.
The bike Rossi crashed with was in fact his choice between two setups that were different, and the second bike wasn’t able to repeat his performance from this morning. His teammate Nicky Hayden had a good morning session, but in qualifying, he wasn’t able to improve his time with a soft tyre as much as he’d hoped.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 11th, 1:40.175
“Eleventh isn’t exactly the ideal starting spot, by any means. This morning we made a pretty good step forward to start with and improved the lap time pretty well there in mid-session, but this afternoon, with the wind, I didn’t go much faster than I went this morning—under two tenths, which is certainly not good enough if you want to qualify well. I’m not happy about the performance. I don’t want to make a lot of excuses; the bike-rider combination wasn’t really good today, but anything can happen in the race tomorrow. The weather seems pretty unpredictable at the moment, so we’ve just got to get prepared for anything and see what happens.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 12th, 1:40.185
“We really didn’t need that fall because I was going quite well with the right bike, the one I like better and that I would have used to do a time with the soft tyre later. I had to lap with the other bike, which was very different, an experiment that unfortunately didn’t work very well. I didn’t feel good on the bike, and I was slower than I had been this morning. It’s a shame. If I had to make a mistake, that was really the wrong moment, because otherwise the second row was within our reach. We could have been with Simoncelli, Spies and Dovizioso, who were on our pace. The top three are going faster, but the difference isn’t as big as it was in Qatar. I like the track, and our pace isn’t bad; we’ll see what happens if we’re able to get a good start.”