Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the race on Sunday at Brno:
Tough Battle for Yamaha at Brno
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies secured fourth and fifth places respectively today in a tough battle for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic. World Champion Lorenzo made a great start from second place on the grid, taking the lead on the first lap and holding off his rivals until a small mistake dropped him to third. As race leader Dani Pedrosa crashed out he was promoted to second but having opted for a softer front tyre than the rest of the grid the Mallorcan struggled to maintain his pace, eventually succumbing a couple of places to finish fourth at the line. Despite his lack of grip he started to close back in on third placed rider Marco Simoncelli in the final laps and was less than a second behind at the chequered flag.
Ben Spies put in a valiant effort this afternoon, holding a strong pace for the duration of the race despite being in less than perfect condition. He continued to be hampered by physical issues with a numb arm resulting from a trapped nerve in his neck. Having lost one position off the start to fifth he held that for the 22 lap race, gradually closing in on his team mate Lorenzo in front, finishing just 1.5 seconds behind him.
Lorenzo heads to the next round in the USA at the Indianapolis circuit in two weeks time holding second in the Championship, trailing leader Casey Stoner by 32 points. Team mate Spies also retains his position of sixth in the Championship standings, now nine points behind Valentino Rossi in fourth and just one point behind Pedrosa in fifth.
Position : 4th Time: +8.513
"The front tyre we chose was not the best option today. We tried it in qualifying and yesterday morning and it gave me a really good feeling and very constant pace. Today with the different conditions and temperature it was not working. From the beginning of the second lap I was really close to losing my front in every corner so it was difficult to improve on fourth position. The Championship is now even more difficult for us but that doesn't mean it is finished. There are still a lot of points to be played for so we must focus on winning the most races we can. Now we must forget this race which is probably one of the worst this season and possibly in my MotoGP career, I am excited to try the 1000 bike and improvements to the current 800 engine tomorrow as well!"
Position : 5th Time: +10.186
"That was a hard race; I wanted to quit every lap past the ninth! I tried as hard as I could and didn't make too many mistakes. I just thought with Valentino coming behind me and being ahead in the Championship I've just got to keep on going until I fall of this thing. I didn't fall off and I finished so it was a good result. Now it's the complete opposite, it's my right arm that's completely dead because that's all that was working in the race. Again I've got to thank the team; the bike was really good and definitely a podium bike. I've also got to thank the Clinica guys; I've never been in there so much, every day! That was the hardest physical race I've ever done. We got it finished, put it behind us and we scored some points."
"We expected a lot from this weekend because Casey was struggling and Jorge felt really good after qualifying. We decided to go with the softer option front tyre which felt really good yesterday but was not the right choice. In the race it gave the opposite results, he couldn't do the 1'57 lap times. It's very strange but that's the reality, Jorge was struggling to stop and lean the bike. Let's look forward; we are 32 points behind so we have to catch up. Indy is very soon and we have seven races to go so we don't give up!"
"I was surprised by Ben's result, he was worried at the beginning of the race and especially after warm up he didn't think he could do more than 12 or 13 laps pushing. He did a great job; we knew it wouldn't be easy. He pushed hard and consolidated his position. Unfortunately Jorge couldn't do what we expected. Anyway there are still some more races to come and we will be ready for the next one."
Stoner victorious in Brno in Honda one-two-three
Round 11: Czech Republic GP – Race
Automotodrom Brno, Sunday 14 August 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Hard, Extra Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Soft, Medium
Casey Stoner ran away with the victory at Brno today, clinching his sixth victory of the season with the Repsol Honda Team. After an early battle with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, once Stoner took the lead on lap three he never looked back.
Pedrosa, who had been the pace-setter all weekend, crashed out of the lead on the third lap, leaving the remaining two steps of the podium to be fought over by Andrea Dovizioso, who finished second, and Marco Simoncelli who secured his first podium in the premier class.
Every rider on the grid used the softer option rear tyre for the race, and almost all riders used the harder option front. The only riders who didn't were Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista, who was chasing down Valentino Rossi for sixth position when he crashed out, and Lorenzo, who led early on before crossing the finish line fourth ahead of his Yamaha teammate Ben Spies.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Casey rode a fantastic race today, lapping remarkably consistently to build a lead that until his last lap was over seven seconds, so my congratulations to him and the Repsol Honda Team. It is of course a great shame for Dani after his performance during the last two days, and for Álvaro as he and Suzuki have been showing a lot of promise here. We saw some good battles between Andrea and Marco and also Jorge until the closing stages of the race, and of course it is good to see Marco achieve his first podium in MotoGP. Brno is always a popular race and it demonstrates the strength and appeal of the championship that 155,400 spectators came to the circuit today."
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Today the climate conditions were almost the same as last year and tyre choice was also the same but today's race time was six seconds faster than in 2010 which shows the development progress of the teams and their bikes and also the high level of the competition. I am happy with tyre performance today as durability was good and the times were consistent. This weekend the new tyre regulations came into effect and I can say that feedback from riders and teams is positive."
Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
"If we look at points it's an important win, and it couldn't work out much better. This weekend has been very very tough and I was a little bit worried going into the race as to how competitive we'd be. During the race I put in a heck of a lot more effort and decided to lay it on the line. Once we had the break I just concentrated on consistency. During qualifying on older tyres we felt a little stronger than the others, and the bike was great by the end of the race and we just brought it home. Again it's a fantastic result. This one felt good."
MAPFRE ASPAR'S HÉCTOR BARBERÁ BATTLES HARD IN BRNO COMEBACK
Spaniard suffers in Czech outing with front end issue, but holds on for tenth
The MotoGP race at Brno looked to have a similar script to practice in the Czech Republic. Pedrosa was fastest for the entire weekend, and wanted to convert that into an early escape from Lorenzo in the opening stages of the race. The story was turned on its head, however, when Pedrosa crashed out, two laps in. Stoner took over from his teammate in the lead of the race, and provided a breakaway soon thereafter. He was out on his own just a couple of laps after assuming the lead. Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Simoncelli fought it out to decide the remaining podium spots, but the positions were settled fairly early on and each of the three rode almost in isolation. Stoner took another win, whilst Lorenzo's only finishing fourth means that the Australian now has a 32 point advantage in the overall standings.
"Besides developing a tiny detail, it's down to me to make the comeback a possibility tomorrow." Those were the words of Héctor Barberá after qualifying in Brno. He was to start from thirteenth on the grid, following a tough return from the summer break in which changes to his Ducati were not having the desired effect. The MAPFRE Aspar man gave his all on race day to take a creditable tenth place. This was despite suffering from some big issues with his front tyre, lacking grip for almost all of the 22 laps in the Czech Republic. The Spaniard had to keep his cool on the last pair of laps, fighting to stave off two riders who had caught up with him and were hungry to overtake. All eyes now are on Indianapolis, and another chance for Héctor Barberá to have a solid race.
10th Héctor Barberá: "It was a pretty difficult race, as I had problems with the front end five laps in and they wouldn't go away. Between the previous race and this one we worked hard on the front, but we still have a few things to resolve. Today it felt like I was losing the front when I hit the brakes on certain corners. This wasn't helped by the fact that the tyre was gradually degrading and making it tougher to brake hard every time. I tried to make the most of things at the start and push whilst I still had some confidence. Normally I do things the opposite way and end up riding faster as the race goes on. A few riders who had been behind me caught up with two laps to go, so I had to turn my focus to defending their attacks and shutting all the doors. This little battle at the end was fun, and I didn't lose any places from it. We made some changes just to try something new, but they didn´t work on well. That's why we will be back to our normal settings for Indianapolis."
Massive potential but no result for Rizla Suzuki at Brno
Publish Date: Sunday, August 14, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista looked set for the best MotoGP finish of his career so far at Brno today until he crashed with only six laps remaining.
Bautista began the race from 14th on the grid and rode a superb first lap to put him up to 10th. On the fourth lap he moved in to seventh position and set about hunting down the leading group. He consistently recorded podium-position lap-times and joined a five man group that was battling for second. Bautista had closed the gap on Valentino Rossi and looked like he would make an attack in the closing stages of the race. As Bautista entered turn 13 on the 16th lap he lost the front tyre and slid in to the gravel. He was uninjured and retrieved his machine and re-mounted, but was unable to continue and rode back to the pits. He was visibly upset as he knew that he had the potential today to record a very good result.
Today's race was held in warm and sunny conditions and the 155,400 fans packed in to the Brno circuit saw Casey Stoner ride to a convincing victory to increase his lead at the top of the championship standings.
Rizla Suzuki now heads back over the Atlantic for the second race in five weeks in America, as the riders get ready to line up for the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday 28th August.
"I have a strange feeling because I am frustrated that I didn't finish after crashing, but I am also quite happy because I did all that was possible to stay with the front group. I was riding just a few seconds behind second position and, after starting from the back of the grid, I was pleased about that. I made a good start and got past some riders in the first few corners and before long I was behind the quick group. After that I pushed to my maximum - I was on the limit, but everything was under control - and then with six laps to go I crashed. I lost the front and it was strange because I entered the corner like the lap before and felt nothing wrong.
"I want to say thank-you to all the team and the sponsors for their confidence and support. I also want to say sorry because it has been a difficult weekend for everybody; we started with two bikes and only had one in the race and none at the end. We expected a good result here, but at the end we are very disappointed with what happened. We need to keep working well in the next few races, we have a good race pace and rhythm, but we need to improve in qualifying because starting from the back means I have to give more effort at the start to catch the front group. I think if we start nearer the front we can stay with the group a lot easier, and the results will come."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"John Hopkins told me after Friday that the Rizla Suzuki had improved so much since Jerez – and that it was capable of fighting for the podium. This was a nice thing for Suzuki's engineers to hear, and it confirmed – alongside the potential recently shown by Álvaro – that the new chassis, new electronics strategies and new setting direction was correct. So to end up here on Sunday afternoon with John in a cast and Álvaro in the gravel – after a stirring display – is so depressing. We are all working hard to get the best results possible and to keep Suzuki in MotoGP - we need a little luck!
"Álvaro crashed with six laps to go, that's the reality and we are sorry to all our sponsors, fans and friends of the team. However, the race statistics do show more of the potential:
- We started 14th and we were 10th at the end of lap one, and seventh at the end of lap four. The only place gifted to us was Dani's crash.
- Álvaro's average lap-time until the crash was faster than Jorge, Ben, and Valentino, and was 0.2 from Andrea and Marco, despite the traffic caused by the starting position.
- Álvaro's average lap-time was 1.8 seconds faster per lap than 2010.
- On laps 8,9,10 and 12 Álvaro was the second fastest rider on the track, and was the third fastest on lap 11.
- Before the crash, Álvaro was only three seconds back from P2.
- Álvaro's best top speed over the weekend was fourth fastest at 298.3km/h, only 2.7km/h slower than the best.
"Thanks again to John for his professionalism at Brno, and to Suzuki, Rizla and Fixi for helping us to give him the opportunity. As for Álvaro – what a fantastic effort, but we have to qualify better and finish the races, and make use of the obvious potential that he and the Rizla Suzuki have. We believe in him completely and we will go to Indy and give our maximum once again."
ELIAS IMPROVES FINISHING 11th AT BRNO GP
Brno, 14 August: the LCR Honda MotoGP rider Toni Elias rode his Honda RC212V to a positive 11th place in today's Czech GP at Brno race track ahead 155.400 local fans with Australian rider Casey Stoner acquiring his sixth victory ahead Dovizioso and Simoncelli.
Toni Elias, who had his best qualifying outing of the year yesterday, has lined up on the 12th spot on the grid for the 22-lap race conducted with ambience temperature of 24 degrees. The Spaniard put in a good performance reducing the gap to the top ten group and he is confident that with a few more adjustments to his machinery he can make further steps forward on tomorrow's testing day.
Elias – 11th: "Well... My start was not brilliant today because I have slipped on a dirty part of the surface and could not catch the first 5 riders in the first corner which was my target. After that my pace was quite good but not enough to follow Aoyama and in the last two laps I had fun battling with Barbera for the 10th position. At the end he beat me but the most important thing for me is our pace in the race because today we have finally reduced the gap to the leading group. This is a positive step forward for me and the Team and we will try to get further improvements tomorrow".
Edwards eighth in Brno, Crutchlow crashes out
Colin Edwards started and finished today's Czech Republic MotoGP race in eighth position, the American once again finishing the leading non-factory rider on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
The 37-year-old rode a determined race throughout the 22-lap encounter, which took place under cloudy but warm skies in front of a massive crowd of 155,400 at the Brno circuit.
After struggling to find maximum traction in this morning's Warm-up session, Edwards made a geometry modification to his YZR-M1 machine prior to the race. Although he felt the modifications improved front and rear grip, the improvements weren't reflected by an improvement in his lap times and he spent almost the entir e race in close pursuit of fellow American Nicky Hayden's factory Ducati machine.
Despite launching numerous attempts to up his pace and get within striking distance of the 2006 World Champion, Edwards was frustrated in his attempt to seize a hard fought seventh position. He still collected eight valuable World Championship points to keep him well on course for a top 10 finish in the overall rankings.
The 11th round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship ended in unhappy circumstances for Cal Crutchlow. The 25-year-old was optimistic he could battle for a top 10 result. But his race was ended prematurely by a front-end crash at the first corner on lap seven after he'd just passed Hector Barbera for 10th.
Crutchlow was able to walk away uninjured but the British rider was frustrated that his hard work throughout the weekend went unrewarded.
Colin Edwards 8th – 75 points:
"I said yesterday that if I finished in the same position that I started that I would be pretty happy. I guess I am pretty happy but it was not an easy race. I know I gave it my absolute maximum out there but eighth position was the best I could do but by no means was it a bad weekend. In the Warm-up this morning I had zero traction, so we made a small geometry change for the race and it was definitely better. I had more grip but the lap time was the same as this morning. All I kept seeing on my lap timer on the dashboard was 58.5, 58.5. It must have been like that for about 14 laps in a row and at one point I thought it had broken. I just couldn't go much faster and it seems we are lacking traction compared to the others. I was spinning the rear tyre a lot and right now our bike feels a little bit unforgiving. I was right on the back of Nicky for pretty m uch the whole race but I couldn't do anything with him. Our lap times just didn't deviate at all, so I couldn't get close enough to him. It wasn't like he had more grip than me, but because we were doing the same pace I didn't get close enough to attack him."
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 34 points:
"Nobody is more disappointed than me with what happened because another crash is the last thing I needed. I am currently having a difficult run of races but all I can do is get my head down, work hard with my crew and try and put things right in the future. At the moment I am struggling with grip in the front-end and we seem to have been going round in circles a little bit to find a solution. Today I was off brake and accelerating at the first corner when I lost the front. The last person who wants to crash is me, but I can only do my best. I am sorry to my Team and Yamaha but I am s ure they realise that I am trying as hard as I can to get a good result. We've got a test tomorrow and that is important because we can work on the bike without the time constraints of practice. We can dedicate all our time to trying to give me some confidence back in the front. I still believe in myself and I am determined to get a good result in Indianapolis."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
"Today feels a bit like a repeat of what happened in Laguna Seca. Colin had a strong race and I believe he got the best result we could have hoped for. He was pushing from the beginning to the end and he never gave up trying to put pressure on Nicky. I want to thank him for trying so hard and keeping a constant pace for the whole race. On the other side of the garage with Cal, I always try to understand, support and help, but he doesn't feel confident with the front for some reas on. Part of this game is to adapt yourself and the riding style to the bike you have and we are crashing too much. And not finishing the races, I don't think that this is the way to learn in your rookie year. I don't want to blame anybody, but we need to be positive and think what we can do to help him in the future races. We know what he is capable of after the way he started the season so strongly, so we need to get back to that level of performance and hopefully it will come soon, starting at the next race in Indianapolis."
Superb win for Stoner with Dovizioso in second completing a full Honda podium
Casey Stoner scored his sixth win of the season, and Andrea Dovizioso his fifth podium in a Honda 1-2-3, the first all-Honda podium since Laguna Seca 2006, and the first of the 800cc period. Unfortunately, only the crash of Dani Pedrosa, on the third lap has marred what has been one of the best Sunday's for the Japanese manufacturer.
Under similar circumstances to Laguna Seca three weeks ago, Casey Stoner has managed to turn a difficult weekend into a win without opposition in a race that he led from the third lap, when Dani Pedrosa, after taking the lead, lost the front and crashed. With the absence of Pedrosa who has been the fastest man throughout the weekend, Stoner had no rival and set a steady pace to increase the gap step by step and cross the finish line 6.5 seconds ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
In another consistent race, Andrea had a fantastic start climbing from seventh position on the grid and resisting attacks from Lorenzo and Simoncelli to take his fifth podium of the year. Casey Stoner's victory at Brno, combined with the fourth position of his closest rival in the Championship, Jorge Lorenzo, gives the Australian a 32 point lead in the MotoGP World Championship. Dovizioso continues to hold third position and Pedrosa is now fifth, behind Valentino Rossi.
Tomorrow the Repsol Honda Team will be back at the Brno circuit testing their 1000cc 2012 machine. Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner will test the bike in the one day test.
CASEY STONER – 1st – World Championship Position: 1st with 218 points
"We knew we could make a strong podium challenge today but we didn't really expect the race win. As soon as the race got underway I was having a good battle with Andrea but this cost me a little time and I was afraid that Jorge and Dani would stretch away from me but when I got past I found I had plenty of speed to catch up and the bike felt great. I passed Jorge and then Dani sadly crashed out so I pushed to see if I could pull a gap and I was able to do so quite quickly, then from this point it was a matter of managing the race. I'm very sorry for Dani, he would have been hard to beat today. After such a hard weekend it's fantastic to come out with a comfortable win, a big thanks to my team who never give up, they always support me so a huge thanks to them. Tomorrow we'll be back on the 1000 for another day of testing, so I hope the weather stays dry for us!".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 2nd – World Championship Position: 3rd with 163 points
"I'm really happy to be back on the podium, it's a good result after a difficult weekend and second position is so important for the Championship. In the warm up we made some small changes and my feeling improved. I arrived at the race very determined and I made a very good start from seventh position. In the first laps I was riding cautiously to save the tyres. I had good pace and when Dani crashed I tried to stay with Casey but I made a mistake at turn 13 and I almost went off the track. I lost contact and from that moment Casey built a gap that was impossible to catch. I'm happy of how I managed the race first with Lorenzo and then with Simoncelli to maintain second position. In the final five laps I pushed harder, lapping under 1'58 to maintain the margin from Marco. I didn't want to fight with him in the last corners. I want to thank Honda and t he team for the good work, despite the fact that we struggled slightly over the weekend, we have demonstrated one more time that in the race we are there and I'm really looking forward to Indy in two weeks time".
DANI PEDROSA – DNF – World Championship Position: 5th with 110 points
"It was a shame. I lost the front and I crashed, that was it! I was not even pushing so hard, I just took the lead and, well I may have tilted the bike too much, maybe the tyre was not warm enough, still I don't know. The problem is that I've wasted an important race that we had prepared for very well. I have to thank the team for the bike they gave me this weekend, it worked really well, and I will tell them I'm sorry for the mistake. It hurts because we were well prepared and finally the race was quite slow compared to the pace we did in practice sessions, but we can not do anything, just think towards the next one and try to get back on top. Let's hope that tomorrow we can have at least some hours in the dry to test the 1000cc. I've been looking forward to see how the new machine is after missing the Jerez test and I would like to make some good laps tomorrow".
BRNO GRAND PRIX: TWELFTH PLACE FOR DE PUNIET, THIRTEENTH FOR CAPIROSSI
Randy De Puniet and Loris Capirossi finished the Grand Prix at Brno in twelfth and thirteenth positions, respectively. Suffering from strong back pain caused by yesterday's qualifying crash, the Frenchman will try to rest ahead of the next world championship round, at Indianapolis. Loris Capirossi will stay at Brno for the test before returning home to continue his therapy to recuperate strength in his right shoulder.
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet track engineer
"We worked really hard, especially in the first laps of the race, when we were trying to stay with the group ahead. We got closer to Barbera when he started to slow, but Randy no longer had the strength to fight, due to his physical problems. He didn't want to force his hand too much, because he would have risked crashing, so he paced himself until the end of the race. Naturally, we can't be satisfied, but the hope is to have our riders in good shape for the next round at Indianapolis."
Randy De Puniet - 12th in race - 17th in MotoGP standings
"It was a complicated race. The pain in my back increased compared to yesterday, so my movements were limited and I didn't have enough energy for the entire race. I had a poor start, behind everyone. Then I started to recover some ground on the others, but there wasn't enough time to make up positions. I tried to put myself in the group with Elias and Barbera, but the pain was too strong for me to fight. I was only thinking of finishing the race. Although I'm not satisfied with the race, I did glimpse some improvements regarding the bike. With a better start, I would have finished the race in the top ten positions."
Loris Capirossi - 13th in race - 16th in MotoGP standings
"As long as my physical condition was able to support the bike's weight, I was able to keep up with Randy and Toni [Elias], but then my arm was hurting so badly that I was just thinking of finishing the race. It's a shame that we continue to encounter problems, and we're not able to ride the bike in the right way. Fortunately, tomorrow's test will give us the opportunity to try to solve some of our many problems. It won't be easy, but we'll try our best."
'SUPER SIC' FINALLY ARRIVES ON THE PODIUM
The 2011 Czech Republic Grand Prix will go down in motorcycling history as the liberation of "Super Sic", who finally cast off the podium shackles with a superb ride at Brno today. For one reason or another Marco Simoncelli's legion of fans had been denied the opportunity to celebrate on several occasions this season but at the scene of Team Gresini's first podium back in 1998 with Alex Barros and their 100th podium last year with Toni Elias – not to mention Fausto Gresini's second 125cc title – their wishes finally came true. Hopefully it will be the first of many for Marco, who broke his duck in somewhat unexpected fashion after a challenging weekend.
Marco Simoncelli (3rd) "I am really happy. I have been very strong this year but it has been tough because we have had some difficult situations to deal with. Me and the team have never lost our faith though and finally the result has come so I want to thank all of them, as well as Honda and anybody else who has maintained their belief in me. On the last lap today I just wanted it to be over and nothing bad to happen and thankfully it all worked out. I am really delighted. I didn't make a great start and had to pass Valentino, who fought back for three corners and I have the tyre marks on my leathers to prove it! It was a nice battle even though it was short. I tried to attack Dovizioso at the end but he was pushing hard and I decided to settle for the position because I knew Lorenzo was making up ground behind me."
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th) "I am satisfied to have finished the race and to have finished it in ninth place. We had some grip problems but overall the bike was working well. I felt physically good and that means I can now look forward to the remaining races. I am also happy for Marco – it is a good day for the team and I want to congratulate them all."
Fausto Gresini "Finally, finally, finally we are on the podium! It has been a tough race because our rivals were strong and we weren't sure that today would be the day to break our duck. Now I just hope this result gives Marco and the team the confidence boost to carry us through the rest of the season. Brno is a magical circuit for us and that proved to be the case again today. Hiroshi had a good race with a solid top ten finish and that will also be important for the races that are left."
POSITIVE WEEKEND FOR ROSSI AND HAYDEN AT BRNO
The Ducati Team took important steps forward at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, where Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finished sixth and seventh, respectively. The riders' finishing positions were the same as in the previous round at Laguna Seca, but both reduced their gaps to the front considerably, the Italian by well over half.
After he and his team made steady progress with the setup of his GP11.1 for the entire weekend, Rossi had a competitive pace for most of the race, chasing the front group all the way to the finish. Working exclusively on the GP11, Hayden's team experienced challenges throughout the weekend but persevered with a respectable performance.
Tomorrow both riders will take part in a day of testing that the Ducati Team will use to continue the work on the 800.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th
"I'd say we can be pretty pleased, as we took a step forward. I must say that Filippo and Ducati has been intelligent, because just with some small changes, we were able to get a good result, improving in both wet and dry conditions and in both qualifying and the race. Now I'm able to ride the bike better under braking and on corner entry, and I can use the front tyre better. We started with the goal of fighting with the group ahead of us, but unfortunately we made a small mistake with the start procedure for heating the tyres and the first two laps were difficult, without enough grip. It's a lesson that we'll remember next time. I didn't have a great start like I did at Laguna, for example. That would have helped a lot, because from the third lap to the finish, I had the same pace as the two Yamahas, and even ‘Sic' wasn't so far ahead. It's sixth place, but it's a sixth place that's much more important than our other results. The gap is much smaller, although I backed off in the final laps since there was nothing else I could do. Otherwise, I would've been just ten seconds from Stoner and much less than that from the podium. Now we must focus and take another step. We'll try the 800 tomorrow, and it will be a very important test for confirming other new details and for continuing work on the setup. We'll probably take a couple of final runs with the GP11, but we'll definitely be continuing with the GP11.1. Finally, I'd like to compliment ‘Sic' for a podium that he really deserved, for today's race but also for what he has shown this season."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th
"It's been a really tough weekend right from when we got the bikes out of the crates from Laguna, but we chipped away at it. The guys have worked extremely hard, and we got better and better. We even made a change after the morning warm-up that actually helped a bit, although I didn't really understand it the first few laps, and the group was already gone. I held on and got seventh, which isn't fantastic. Still, the gap to the front is the closest it's been this season, which is positive. The bike was really good in a few places, but I was slow in change of direction and couldn't get the bike to finish the corner and was spinning the tyre a lot. We also need to understand why I had the slowest top speed. It would've been nice to hang onto that front group a bit longer, but Colin pushed me all the way to the end. The work's far from over for this weekend, because we've got a big day tomorrow. Valentino tried some new parts on the front that they seem real happy about, so hopefully I can try those tomorrow. Test days are so important, and we really need a dry day tomorrow to try to make a big step."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"It was a positive weekend for our team. We made progress with Valentino session by session, and with Nicky we solved enough of the difficulties from Friday that he was nearly four seconds faster than last year. Compared to Laguna Seca, Valentino reduced his pace and his final gap to the front, and he was closer to the lead group. His feeling with the front of the GP11.1 was also better thanks to some details that we changed. We can say that, overall, it was the most productive race weekend of the season. Tomorrow we'll have an important test day because we'll try some more small details for the GP11.1 with Valentino, and Nicky will be able to try it without pressure and also to make a useful comparison with the GP11."