Today the Ducati Team started its preparation for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, which will take place on Sunday at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A long rainstorm last night reduced the asphalt’s grip level, though conditions improved steadily throughout the day. In the afternoon, both Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi were considerably faster than they had been in the morning, lapping at around the pace of the second group.
For both riders, the goal for tomorrow is to improve the bike’s handling in corners and to reduce the gap to the front.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th (1:41.397)
“It’s nice to be back with the team and on the bike. This morning things went pretty well. With the rain last night, it took a while to dry out the track and get some rubber down, but we got going okay. This afternoon we tried a couple of things, but we didn’t make a big step like we had hoped. We got some more grip in the rear, but then we started to push the front worse. We improved by a second, but everyone else improved a lot more. Some of these corners are really connected, and it’s important to get the bike to turn, because if you mess up the first one, the problem gets exaggerated. We need to understand why we’re having this turning issue and hopefully do a good step tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th (1:41.529)
“We lowered our time by two seconds in the afternoon because the track’s grip was improving lap by lap, and I think we’ll see the same tomorrow. The feeling of riding is better compared to last year, but we’re still having a very hard time with corner entry, especially in the lefthanders. We’re also losing a lot on the exits of the two slow corners. This afternoon, I used the same hard tyre the whole time in order to check its performance after many laps, because I don’t think it will be possible to do the whole race with the soft. Anyway, tomorrow we’ll try it. We have a number of things to sort out, but the second group isn’t far off.”