Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello
Rain Shortens Mugello Qualifying. Hayden Ninth, Rossi Twelfth
Bad weather continued to affect the MotoGP world championship today at Mugello, where rain made a brief appearance that cut the amount of useful time in the qualifying session in half. Nicky Hayden found a good dry setup this morning that improved his feeling with the bike, but he couldn’t take full advantage of it in qualifying.
Valentino Rossi, who had many things to try for his GP11.1’s setup, was hurt more than others by the lack of track time and will start from the twelfth spot on the grid tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th, 1:49.509
“This morning we made a couple little improvements with the bike and were feeling quite good. We didn’t put in a new soft tyre at the end, so the gap looked worse than it was. I felt confident, but this afternoon the conditions were crazy. It was spotting rain in the beginning, but everybody put their heads down and went out full-gas. Then the conditions got worse and it was a shame for the fans that we were all sitting in the garage when we’d normally be doing a time attack. It rained yesterday and today around race time, so I went out for a little at the end and had a look at the new surface in the wet, just in case. The tyre choice is going to be interesting because we really haven’t had any afternoon track time in the dry. I can’t be happy starting ninth at Ducati’s home race, but we’ll try to make our fans proud.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 12th, 1:49.902
“We had many things to try and the rain this afternoon ruined our plans, but that’s no excuse for the gap, as the conditions were the same for everyone. It’s true that we lost yesterday’s morning session, and that we’re still working on development. We expected to go better at Mugello, and instead we struggled here as well. I don’t feel good with the front, so I lose a lot on corner entry, and I can’t ride the bike well. As for the rear, we’ve made progress, and the GP11.1 has solved some issues. Acceleration is better, but we still have to work with the front. Obviously, we’ll try our best in the race, although it will be hard, but in any case we’ll gather experience that will be useful in the future.”