Fall Spoils Qualifying For Rossi, Hayden Eighth
After taking a nice step forward in the third free-practice session this morning, a fall during the fourth lap of qualifying affected Valentino Rossi’s performance in Indianapolis. Although the Italian immediately returned to the garage, he could no longer use his first bike or its set of fresh tyres. He’ll have to start from the fifth row of the grid tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden was able to improve his situation by over a second and a half compared to Friday, posting the eighth-best time. He’ll start his home Grand Prix from the third row.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th (1:40.244)
“Compared to yesterday, we had wanted to take a step forward in qualifying, but I got a bit confused this morning, and my feedback to the team wasn’t as good as it should have been. This bike is new for us, and we still need more experience with it. Anyway, we still salvaged the third row in the end, which is better than I was. Tyre wear is going to be a big question mark for me. I’m sorry for my fans and the Ducati supporters who want to see us qualifying up front, but we’ll give it our best tomorrow. They say there may be cooler weather, which normally helps us a little bit, so maybe we’ll catch a break.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 14th (1:40.975)
“We took a nice step forward this morning that we hoped to confirm in qualifying, and instead I fell right away. We really could have done without that crash, but the front closed right when I touched the brake. From there, the whole session was difficult because the second bike had a slightly different setup. I lost one pair of new tyres and I had to start with a set of used ones. I wasn’t able to get back the feeling from this morning, when the bike felt better and I could push harder. It’s really a shame because we wanted to try to start from the second row again, like at Brno, and instead we’ll have to work hard tomorrow. Anyway, we’ll give our best effort in the race because we weren’t so far off this morning.”