Both Ducati Team riders will start from the third row of the grid tomorrow in the Catalan Grand Prix, with Nicky Hayden in the seventh spot and Valentino Rossi ninth.
The Italian said he was satisfied with the good setup work done on his GP12 for qualifying today, enabling him to lower his lap time by over a second compared to yesterday, and perhaps more importantly, to maintain a decent and consistent race pace.
Hayden found a good feeling in the third free practice session, and after making changes to adapt the bike to the higher temperature, he turned in a good performance in the afternoon.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th (1:42.029)
“This morning I did a pretty decent lap time with a hard tyre and thought I could possibly get on the second row, but this afternoon, right from the beginning, I struggled to get the same feeling and had to change a couple of things. I was able to do an okay lap, but truthfully, I thought I could get into the 41s. We’ll start seventh tomorrow, which isn’t great, but the gap to the front is the smallest it’s been all year. We’ll certainly have to improve our consistency tomorrow, and race distance could be really tough for tyre wear, but maybe the temperatures will be cooler and help us.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th (1:42.175)
“I’m pretty pleased because we improved the bike’s setup and we made the third row, which was our goal for today, even if I really lose a lot in the last part of the track, especially on entry in the last two corners. Anyway, we can also be pretty satisfied with our race pace because I was able to ride well and consistently, even on a used tyre. The forecasts say it could rain tomorrow, and of course we know that we can do well in the wet, although it could also be good for us even if we just get a bit cooler temperatures.”