The Spanish Grand Prix proved challenging for Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.
Despite pain in his right wrist, Hayden managed to finish in seventh place, maintaining the same position for almost the entire race and riding alone for most of the twenty-seven laps.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro had an encouraging performance in his first race aboard a MotoGP bike. Riding the experimental GP13, Pirro rode consistently in tenth place before losing a position four laps from the end and finishing eleventh.
Hayden and Dovizioso are scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s official IRTA test, which will also be held at Circuito de Jerez.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 7th: “The small tweaks we did to the bike this morning were improvements, and after I was fifth in the warm-up with a decent pace, I was confident for the race. My start was okay, but I lost the gap when Bradl crashed in front of me and I wasn’t able to stay with Bautista and Crutchlow.
Thanks to my physiotherapist, Alfredo Dente, and the Clinica Mobile, who helped me to race despite the problem with my wrist. With the adrenaline, the first fifteen laps weren’t much of a problem, but the last part wasn’t much fun. It was our best weekend so far this season, so hopefully we can build on it.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th: “I knew it would be a hard weekend, but it was more difficult than I expected, especially the race. For sure the front tyre wasn’t suited to these conditions, but we shouldn’t complain too much because this is our gap at the moment.
Anyway, I don’t want to find excuses because I didn’t ride as I wanted to today, while Nicky interpreted the track better. Tomorrow will be an important test to try the parts that Pirro raced with today, and I’m confident.”
Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team, 11th: “Honestly, considering how I was doing until the halfway point, I thought I could've stayed with Dovizioso, but I eventually found myself in a battle with Espargaro. I made some small mistakes and lost some time. In the end, I lost the feeling with the front tyre and also a bit of acceleration on corner exit.
It’s a shame because we had the potential to finish in the top ten. It was my first real race on a MotoGP bike, and it wasn’t easy because I didn’t want to make mistakes. Now we can focus on my next race at Mugello, where I hope to do better.
I don’t like this track much, but anyway we got some good information for our development work. I’d like to thank Ducati for having given me this opportunity.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager: “We knew from the tests we’d done at Jerez that this weekend would be difficult for us, as the track doesn’t seem to match the characteristics of our GP13. Still, Nicky did good lap times in the race despite his painful wrist, while Andrea had some problems with the front tyre.
It was nice to see Pirro’s performance over race distance, as he made progress and improved his feeling with the laboratory bike. Thank you to the whole team, including the test team, for the good work they did over the weekend, and which will continue in the test tomorrow, when the two Ducati Team riders will have the opportunity to give their input on the experimental bike for future development.”