STONER TAKES THIRD CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISH, HAYDEN CHARGES TO SEVENTH IN GERMANY Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner picked up his third podium finish in as many races at Sachsenring today with a stunning fight for third position, which...
STONER TAKES THIRD CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISH, HAYDEN CHARGES TO SEVENTH IN GERMANY
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner picked up his third podium finish in as many races at Sachsenring today with a stunning fight for third position, which wasn't decided until the last corner. The Australian started from second on the grid and was running in third place when a crash further down the order led to a red flag and restart after nine laps.
Nicky Hayden had made a stunning start to the first race, charging from fifteenth on the grid to ensure sixth spot on the reformed grid. He made up another position in the second race but was unlucky to be passed by two riders after losing the front of his Desmosedici GP10 just three laps from the end, leaving him in an otherwise creditable seventh. Stoner held third for much of the 21-lap affair but a late challenge from Valentino Rossi saw the pair swap positions several times before Stoner made his decisive move at the bottom of the 'Waterfall' section.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd
"In the first part of the race I didn't have such a good feeling and I was doing everything I could to stay with Dani and Jorge but tenth by tenth they were pulling away from me. So, for the second part of the race we changed to a tyre we'd already used yesterday and I immediately found more grip and was able to run faster lap times. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get past Dovi at the start so the front two opened a gap and by the time I got up to third place they were gone. We saw in the first race that Valentino's pace was a little better than ours and that proved to be the case again in the second race. He was taking big chunks of time out of me and to be honest once he got past I didn't think I'd be able to follow. I tried really hard to stay in there and we had a good battle with a lot of nice passes. I tried one last time at the bottom of the hill, where he tried to close the line on me but I was already there. We touched but it was a good, clean fight and I'm just pleased to come away with a podium. We had hoped to be a little closer to the front here but we're happy with this."
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Marlboro Team) 7th
"On paper seventh place doesn't look like a great result but after qualifying fifteenth yesterday actually it's not so bad. I was running fifth but with a few laps to go I lost the front coming through the Waterfall and went back to seventh, after which I couldn't really get back to them. Also on the last lap the bike jumped out a gear and I almost crashed so I'm happy to have picked up points. Of course fifth would have been a lot better but I'm proud of my team because yesterday was probably the worst day of our season so far but they worked so hard to change almost everything with the set-up, from the forks to the pivot and the shock. We tested it in the wet morning and it felt okay -- I was fifth fastest and comfortable so we rolled the dice and went for it in the race. At the start I was able to recover a lot of positions and got up to sixth when the red flag came out, which did me a favour because it closed the gap back up. I had not the best feeling with the bike for a couple of laps, I was running wide in a lot of places and it was difficult. From there I got into a very aggressive race with Dovi and Simoncelli - I got rubber on both sides of my leathers but you expect that in MotoGP when start fifteenth. It was a good battle with those guys and overall this is a much more positive result than it looks ahead of my home race at Laguna."
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
"I think it was a positive day for us even though after practice we thought Casey could be fighting for the win. It didn't turn out that way but we still saw a great race from him and a wonderful battle with Vale that Casey sealed in the final corner after so many overtakes. They put on a great show, the kind we haven't seen for a while, and I think everybody enjoyed it. Nicky was starting from an impossible position but he rode a determined race and rediscovered the rhythm and speed that we know he has, even though for some reason he lost his way a little in practice. In 'race one' he produced an amazing charge through the pack and in 'race two' he set an excellent pace despite losing out in the end to Dovizioso and Simoncelli. Anyway, it looks like he has his feeling with the bike back and that it good news with Laguna Seca on the horizon."