Brno Grand Prix Kicks Off Second Half Of MotoGP Season
The two-week break that followed the Laguna Seca Grand Prix gave Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden time for a short vacation that both riders spent close to home, though the American rider took a brief excursion to Indianapolis. Hayden spent August 5 at Indy, splitting his time between promotional activities for the upcoming Grand Prix there and riding the track aboard a Ducati 1198 SP, using the opportunity to try out the new surface that was recently applied to part of the track.
This week the championship returns to action at Brno, the Czech Republic circuit that traditionally opens the second half of the season. It’s a popular round with all the riders because the track, which was constructed in the mid-’80s, offers a great mixture of turns and elevation changes, and is fast, flowing and very wide. Valentino Rossi has claimed four podiums and seven wins across all the classes, while Hayden has one podium.
A test will take place on the Monday after the Grand Prix, and the Ducati Team will dedicate that day to working on the 800.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“After Laguna I took a few days of vacation, at the beach close to home. It was a short break but enough to recharge the batteries following an intense period. Now we’ll spend a nice mid-August at Brno—classic! Seriously, I’m always happy to go there. I like the track not only because it’s very nice, wide and fast, and I’ve always gone well there, but also because it’s a special place for me since it’s where I earned my first pole, my first win and my first world championship. During both the race weekend and the Monday test, we’ll continue concentrating on the bike’s setup, with the goal of reducing the gap to the lead group.
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“It’s been a bit of a break, but fortunately not all of it was away from bikes! On August 5 I had an opportunity to ride a Ducati 1198 SP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the entire infield section has been resurfaced, from Turn 5 to 16, in order to eliminate the bumps that used to limit our line options. Indy was already a great track, but now it’s safer and even more fun. A big thanks to Ducati North America and IMS for all the hard work to make the test possible. I’m ready to get to Brno now. It’s a very different circuit to what we’ve been to for the last two races at the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca. Those are tight with short lap times, and Brno is definitely a big, open track. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ve just got to keep chipping away. It’s clear that everybody at Ducati is doing the maximum, so we’ll go there and try to get a good result. Obviously the test on Monday will be really important for us. I’ll probably just ride the GP11 on the race weekend and then test the new bike on Monday.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“After Laguna Seca the team had the chance to rest for a few days, even though the work at Ducati never stopped. The Test Team tried some electronics updates at Mugello, and we’ll use them in the post-race test at Brno to continue improving the setup and reduce the gap to the lead group. Filippo [Preziosi] will be on hand Monday, and we’ll continue the development work on the GP11.1 with both Valentino and Nicky.”