Ducati Marlboro Team Back In Action At Historic Silverstone Circuit
The British Silverstone circuit, which on May 17 inaugurated an impressive new structure called “The Wing” that includes offices, a pit lane and large, modern garages, hosts the sixth round of the MotoGP world championship on Sunday.
Construction of the new structure necessitated the relocation of the starting line, which is now situated nearly on the opposite side of the track compared to before, but the circuit’s layout is identical to last year. Valentino Rossi, who was injured before last year’s race weekend, has never competed at Silverstone, although he turned about twenty laps there last year aboard an 1198 street bike, during the aforementioned inauguration. On Friday, he’ll face twin assignments: better learn the wide, fast circuit, and work on his bike’s setup.
Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, has good memories of his Silverstone debut, as he took a strong fourth-place finish and just missed out on the podium. On Wednesday, the American did a lap of honor on the Mountain Course at the Isle of Man aboard a Ducati 1198 SP.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Marlboro Team
“Silverstone is a great track that’s difficult and quite fast. I’ll start on Friday with a small handicap because unfortunately, I didn’t get to race there last year. I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike there, although I did about twenty laps on an 1198 street bike. I’ll have to learn the track as quickly and as well as possible, as it’s very technical, with several blind spots where taking the right line is very important. Of course we’ll also have to work on adjusting the bike. Anyway, we’re understanding better and better how to approach the setup of the GP11, and Ducati continues working on development. There’s still work to be done, but it’s clear which areas we have to address and we’re all focused and determined to improve.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
“It’s been a short week, because Barcelona was just a few days ago. After the race, I went to the Isle of Man TT, which was a great experience. Now it’s time for Silverstone. We went there for the first time last year, so it’s still kind of new and fresh for us. The track layout is the same, but they’ve changed where we enter the pits, which could make it a little different in some ways. It’s a track I enjoyed a lot last year because it’s big, long and fast. The pavement was a little bumpy in a couple of places, but it was perfect in other parts. I’m looking forward to it.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“There are a number of aspects of the next Grand Prix that we’ll have to handle as well as we can. Silverstone is a challenging track because it’s technical and very fast, and finding the right lines is important. Nicky knows this well because he had a great race in 2010, finishing two tenths off the podium. Vale has only done some laps on a Ducati street bike, so he’ll have to be quick at learning the track’s secrets. The asphalt is new in some areas and bumpy in others, and that’s a variable to keep in mind when searching for the right setup. Also, it’s often quite cold in the mornings, which could limit the amount of useful track time even more than usual. In any case, the team is working very well, and everyone here is hugely committed, so we hope to keep making progress.”