HAYDEN AND STONER SECURE SOLID POINTS HAUL AT JEREZ Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner took top five finishes in the Grand Prix of Spain today, fourth and fifth place respectively representing satisfactory if not sensational results at Jerez. Both ...
HAYDEN AND STONER SECURE SOLID POINTS HAUL AT JEREZ
Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner took top five finishes in the Grand Prix of Spain today, fourth and fifth place respectively representing satisfactory if not sensational results at Jerez. Both riders had higher hopes as they targeted a podium challenge from fifth and third on the grid but it was a demanding 27-lap affair as they lost touch with eventual top three Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi in the first half of the race.
Stoner's front end troubles forced the Australian to accept 11 important championship points. Meanwhile Hayden made a great start to the race and was lapping in third place over the early laps but didn't quite have the pace to stick with the leaders.
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th
"Fourth place is no disaster but I was hoping to stay closer to the top three towards the end and put up a bit of a fight. I'm not happy to be nine seconds adrift but we're trying to build something here and we've had another solid weekend. The team, the bike, everything has been great this weekend but we just fell a couple of tenths short on race day. To be honest I thought we might find a little extra for the race, like we did in Qatar, but it wasn't to be. Like I said yesterday my guys worked like dogs to put me in this position today and we've got more to do tomorrow so I want to give a big thanks to them. This is the Ducati factory team and we don't jump up and down at fourth place but we'll take it. We got some great data to work from that should help us be stronger at Le Mans and hopefully we can keep this upward trend going."
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 5th
"I'm disappointed with today's performance. We started the weekend strongly but only got worse compared to our rivals as the sessions went by and we were never able to improve on the base set-up that we started out with. I think we fell into the trap of making changes to the bike that were too radical and it only served to confuse us because we never went in the right direction. I made an okay start to the race and felt comfortable over the opening laps, Jorge was actually slowing my progress at that point and I was eager to get past him and chase Nicky and the others but as soon as I came up to pass Nicky I lost the front and almost crashed. The bike was pretty much on the ground but I managed to pick it up and then tried to push on from there but the front folded two or three more times on that lap alone. That shot my confidence so Jorge was able to pass me easily and from that moment I just wanted to take as many points as I could. As the tyres went off in the second half of the race the bike felt better and I had more contact with the front but it was little too late and I couldn't catch Nicky. We need to work hard to find some answers in the test tomorrow and move on to Le Mans ready to battle again."
Filippo Preziosi -- General Director, Ducati Corse
"We're really happy for Nicky because he was really consistent all weekend and today he showed once again that he has the ability to do well. On the other hand I'm disappointed for Casey because I know he's not happy with this result. We lost our way over the weekend despite making a strong start on Friday and didn't manage to improve the set-up of the bike. Casey didn't have a good feeling with the front and with two crashes already this year, one in Qatar and one here in practice, it seems we haven't solved our problem. Fortunately we have a day of testing here tomorrow and that comes at a good time for us because we can analyse all the data and try to get a better understanding of what happened."