Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will start the Italian Grand Prix from top four positions after today's qualifying session following a thrilling finale that saw both riders briefly holding second place before eventually...
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will start the Italian Grand Prix from top four positions after today's qualifying session following a thrilling finale that saw both riders briefly holding second place before eventually giving best to Jorge Lorenzo and eventual pole setter Dani Pedrosa.
Stoner and Hayden made some progress with the setting of their Desmosedici GP10 machines, making up four and five places respectively on their free practice positions from yesterday, but both profess to still having work to do in tomorrow's warm-up.
"To start from front row is always a positive thing but even if I'd love to say this lap time shows we're ready to race tomorrow, we're far from it. To be competitive with Jorge and Dani and to run with them consistently we're going to have to find six tenths at least. We've been trying a lot of things, including going back to last year's forks, which I've got a lot of feedback from, but now we are just trying to get the bike turning well and reacting well over the bumps, things like that. Qualifying doesn't really reflect our race pace -- it was a bit of a banzai lap to be honest! Having said that we've got to be happy with a front row start and if we can find something tomorrow in warm-up we're in a good position. We have some work to do tonight -- I'm going to sit down with the team and see what we can come up with for the race. I feel sorry for Valentino because all three guys on the front row know what it's like to be injured and miss races. It will be hard for him to even train so I wish him all the best with his recovery."
"Things haven't been silky smooth in free practice and qualifying was tough too -- I really had to dig deep and take a few chances because here on the Ducati I qualified at the back last year and I'd rather have crashed than do that again. So we went for it and almost got on the front row. Considering how the weekend has gone fourth is not a disaster but we need to make it better in the warm-up. The team has done a good job but still we need to soak up the bumps a little better because this track has got really bumpy in a few places. The good thing is our engine is really fast and that's going to be important tomorrow. We'll try our best and just give everything for those Ducati fans, I'm looking forward to seeing them out there. It's a real bummer about Valentino because on the track he's a warrior. He's good for the racing, he's good for the show and even though he never makes it easy for us we all respect him and nobody wants to see a colleague in pain like that. I'm sorry for him and his fans and just wish him to get well soon."