Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's race at Misano:
Bautista battles hard to eighth at Misano
Publish Date: Sunday, September 04, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista had a hard-fought and somewhat lonely race at Misano in Italy today to record eighth place in the San Marino Grand Prix.
Bautista started from eighth on the grid, but was unable to produce one of his good starts and lost a couple of places during the first lap, as light spots of rain caused him to be extra careful in the early stages. Bautista got involved with a group of riders early on and by the time he had found his rhythm he had lost touch with the leading pack. Bautista gave chase to Colin Edwards, who had over a two-second advantage on the Spaniard, but the Suzuki racer hunted him down and passed him on lap-17. Bautista tried to catch the group further in front and although he made a valiant effort to close the gap, he had to settle for eighth after completing the last third of the race with no other riders for company.
Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R looked spectacular at Misano today as the team showcased a one-off chrome livery to celebrate the launch of the Rizla ‘Micron' paper in Italy.
Over 53,000 fans at trackside witnessed current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo take a comprehensive victory and close the gap at the top of the championship on Casey Stoner, who finished third.
Rizla Suzuki now has a week off before heading to Spain for the 14th round of this season's calendar and the Aragon Grand Prix, to be held on Sunday 19th September.
"Maybe this was not the result we expected after qualifying, but I didn't have a lot of confidence on the first lap because it was raining a little bit and I didn't feel like I could push too much – so I lost some positions and distance from the group. When I got into my rhythm the group was far away and I couldn't follow them. Eighth position is not a bad result but we expected more this weekend. We have done a good job during the last few races, but still we have to improve in qualifying to be nearer the front of the grid and make good starts and first laps. Thanks to all the team for this weekend and thanks to Rizla for their support with the new livery. The bike today was looking amazing and I think we all expected more than eighth, but we are confident that we can do better in the next races."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"A couple of months ago we would have been happy with eighth place, but our performance level has increased and today we are a little disappointed with the result. If the conditions had been the same as yesterday afternoon, when the track was 10 degrees warmer I think, there was a chance we could have competed for fourth place, but as it was we were so far behind after a couple of laps that to achieve the real potential was impossible. We have managed to get a decent, solid finish, so it's not all bad!
"We were very happy to help Rizla launch its new ‘Micron' product in Italy this weekend and we will now move on to another home race for Álvaro at Aragon in two weeks time with a positive attitude."
Lorenzo takes Misano win to intensify championship fight
Round 13: San Marino GP – Race
Misano World Circuit, Sunday 4 September 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Jorge Lorenzo resisted pressure from pole-sitter Casey Stoner in the early stages of today's 28-lap race to take a dominant victory and set a new lap record. Dani Pedrosa chased down Stoner and passed him on lap 23 to finish second, meaning that Stoner's championship lead over Lorenzo is now down to 35 points leaving the title wide open for the remaining five races of the season.
The conditions today were much cooler and more overcast than the previous two days. Whilst the race was declared dry, and every rider started on Bridgestone's harder front and softer rear slicks, a very few drops of rain started to fall on the grid as dark clouds threatened and on the first lap of the race the white flag was shown, indicating that riders were free to enter the pits and change to their wet bikes. The drops however made little difference to circuit grip.
The threat soon subsided, the white flags were withdrawn and the race was run on slick tyres meaning there still hasn't been a flag-to-flag race this season (one in which it is necessary because of the weather for riders to change from slicks to wets or vice-versa mid-race).
The battle for fourth position intensified in the closing laps as Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies chased down Marco Simoncelli and the three traded paint and positions multiple times before Simoncelli emerged on top.
Taka Horio – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Congratulations to Jorge and the Yamaha Factory team today for their performance today – not only does it close the fight for the championship title for the rest of the season but it is especially poignant for them as this weekend is the first time that Wayne Rainey has returned to Misano with the team so it's an even more special feeling. There is always a lot of emotion and excitement at Misano, and we are proud to be an integral part of this."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"Conditions at the start of the race had a lot of people looking to the skies as the rain drops started to fall, and although it held off it made the opening laps tricky to judge how much the grip level had been affected. By lap four though Jorge, Casey and Dani were all under the existing lap record. Every rider chose the hard front and softer option rear slicks and I am satisfied with performance and consistency – Jorge set the new lap record on lap 12, he was lapping in the mid 1m 34s until the end and his total race time was 11 seconds faster than the previous best."
Jorge Lorenzo – Factory Yamaha Racing – Race Winner
"The team have done a great job and all the weekend we have been so quick. I had a great bike and a great feeling in the corners. I really wanted to be first in the first lap to try and open a gap but I was really worried about the situation of the weather so I prayed for it to not rain. I expected a hard fight with Casey but fortunately for me he lost a bit of pace mid-race and I could win again. This is a big result for me and for Yamaha and it is great to be back and win again. This is very important."
Crutchlow makes welcome return to top 10 in Misano
Cal Crutchlow raced to a thoroughly deserved top 10 finish in today's GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini in hot and humid conditions at the Misano circuit.
And Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards claimed his eighth successive top 10 finish, despite encountering an uncomfortable arm pump issue in the second half of the 28-lap race.
Today's race proved to be a major test of physical endurance with hot and humid conditions dominating the 13th round of the World Championship. Super-fit Crutchlow needed to call on all his reserves of energy to claim his first top ten finish since he was a brilliant seventh in the Catalunya round.
He wa s inside the top 10 on only the third lap, Crutchlow expertly navigating pockets of light rain that had started to fall on sections of the track while the riders formed on the grid.
The British rider put immense pressure on Alvaro Bautista for the opening 16-laps before he took ninth from Edwards on lap 21. Hector Barbera dropped him back to ninth on lap 25 but Crutchlow refused to settle for 10th position and he launched a sustained attack on the Spaniard in the closing stages. Crutchlow gave his maximum effort but couldn't find a way by Barbera, who clinched ninth by just over 0.2s.
Today's race turned out to be a difficult experience for Edwards, who battled with factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies for the first eight laps. The 37-year-old experienced a severe arm pump issue from lap 21 onwards. The demanding humidity and hard braking zones at the 2.626 miles circuit only made the issue worse for Edwards, who bra vely rode on despite the considerable discomfort.
His courage and determination was rewarded with 13th position, a result which retains Edwards' position as the leading non-factory rider in the standings heading to the Motorland Aragon in Spain.
Cal Crutchlow 10th – 45 points:
"I am really pleased with the race and it is my first top 10 for a long time, so that is a good boost for my confidence. Finishing 10th was three places better than my qualifying position, so it was a positive outcome. It could have been a slightly better result but I just got pipped by Barbera right at the end. I did everything I could to get by him but I had a little issue with the rear tyre. Corner entry was really difficult at the end, so I didn't feel like I could really push and have a go to overtake him with any confidence. His bike had a li ttle more speed than me, so I just couldn't get close enough to have a go. My race pace was good enough for fifth in last year's race but this year it was good enough for 10th. It just shows how far the pace has moved on and how tough it is in MotoGP. It was an unbelievably hard race for the body too. The humidity was incredible and I'm glad I do so many training miles on my bicycle because it was a real case of survival of the fittest out there. It was good that we gained a lot more experience and got another decent finish and now I can look forward to building on this result at the Motorland Aragon."
Colin Edwards 13th - 87 points:
"I've got no excuses, today's result was nothing to do with anything else but me. I've no idea but for whatever reason, I just always ride so tense at this track. I kept telling myself that I needed to relax and calm down and then on the grid there's a few rain drops in the air, so that immediately means you can't help but be tense because you've no idea how hard it is coming down on other parts of the track. The front-end geometry change we made to the bike for Saturday morning made the bike feel a bit heavier and harder to change direction. I pushed as hard as I could for the first ten laps and was pretty close to Ben (Spies) and then it hit me like a pile of bricks. I got such bad arm pump I couldn't feel the front brake or the handlebars and by the end I was just moving my arms in the direction I thought they needed to go. I've never had arm pump that bad and to be honest I didn't realise you could get it that bad. It got to a point where almost pulled in. But I gritted my teeth and thought I could probably get a couple of points, which we did. But it was a complete nightmare and all I can do is put today behind and try and bounce at the Motorland Aragon in a couple of weeks."< /em>
Hervé Poncharal – Team Manager:
"Although qualifying was difficult for Cal he had a good start and pushed really hard all through the race and I'm very pleased with his performance. He managed to catch Colin and pass him but he lost a little bit of time and that gave Barbera and Aoyama the possibility to catch him back. Then there was a really good fight between those three and I think at the end, although Barbera finished in front of him, it was a good experience for Cal. I am sure he has learnt a lot in the race and the top 10 is what we were looking for this year, so we are happy. Colin started the race really well and for the first third of the race he was really strong and pushing close to Ben. At that point we were hoping for a strong result but then I saw his time dropping and we did not really understand why. We thought maybe it was the ty re or something like that as the lap time was getting very slow. But when he came back to the garage we found out that he had an arm pump problem on both arms and they went almost numb and he could not feel anything. At some point he wanted to come into the pits, but he carried on to finish the race and get some points and I want to thank him for that and never giving up."
FOURTH PLACE THAT FEELS LIKE A PODIUM FOR SIMONCELLI
A heart-stopping final lap from Marco Simoncelli secured an important and impressive fourth place finish at Misano this afternoon, the Italian overcoming his compatriot Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies with a superb ride. If it wasn't for a less than perfect start 'Super Sic' might even have been battling for a podium finish today but fourth place felt like one to him and his legion of fans after coming through such a combative finish. A series of mistakes from Hiroshi Aoyama limited the Japanese rider to eleventh place, although it has been a satisfactory weekend for him overall.
Marco Simoncelli (4th) "A podium finish is always more satisfying than fourth place of course but this result feels just as nice because it was such a close and hard fight at the end. Unfortunately I made a mistake and chose the wrong engine map at the start which made me lose touch with the front three, otherwise I maybe could have run with them. I had to make up ground and when I got to fourth place I defended it tooth and nail to win a wonderful battle with Dovizioso and Spies on the last lap. I had held fourth for 23 laps and I couldn't let myself lose it at the end. It was nice, I had fun and I think I provided some excitement for my fans. They deserve it because they have backed me through some tough times."
Hiroshi Aoyama (11th) "That was a really tough race and with the heat it felt like we were in Malaysia. I am not delighted with the result but I am happy that we set some good consistent laps during the race that can give us confidence for the future. Unfortunately on lap eleven I made a mistake that cost me some time but overall we have had another positive weekend and that will help us in the final few races."
Fausto Gresini "That was a very hard race and we were struggling at the end but Marco did brilliantly to finish in a fantastic fourth place. It is a result he deserves after a great battle and I am really happy for him. It was what we wanted here at Misano, a track that is so close to his home even though it is not one he likes. We all share his delight, especially the President of San Carlo, Mr Alberto Vitaloni, who was really excited by such an incredible finish from 'Super Sic.'"
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ PLACES NINTH FOR MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM IN MISANO
Héctor Barberá ends positive weekend with another top ten finish for team and rider
The white flag was out before the MotoGP race at Misano, warning of spitting rain for the premier class contest. Jorge Lorenzo took the lead early on, followed by Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. The three fastest riders from practice kept up their domination on race day, and soon broke free. There was to be little fight, however, as Lorenzo extended his advantage and Pedrosa did likewise to Stoner. Simoncelli, Dovizioso and Spies offered up the most entertainment with their fight for fourth, directly behind the leading trio of 'untouchables.' Lorenzo completed a Spanish treble at the San Marino GP, following up on victories for Márquez -Moto2- and Terol -125cc. Pedrosa finished second and series leader Stoner, third.
The uncertainty presented by light rain almost got MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá in a twist, but the Spaniard cleared his head to recover from a difficult start. The opening three laps saw a lack of confidence and a small mistake, but from then on he kept up his strong form from practice. Barberá took off from ninth on the grid and lost four places on lap one, but his calmness and determination took him back up the order and he equaled his grid position before taking the chequered flag. It was a positive finish to one of his better weekends of the season, and the MotoGP rider is sure that the team are going in the right direction.
9th Héctor Barberá: "First of all, I want to say that this was a rather good weekend for us overall. As far as the race itself goes, yesterday we inspected the track in order to prepare the start and the braking points to use. I got off the line well and was going perfectly up until the first corner, where I didn't brake confidently on account of it spitting with rain -so I locked up. I had to make a save on the next turn and was then passed by a number of riders. From then on I had two slow laps in which I was maybe thinking too much, second guessing whether it would rain more or not. This was the turning point of the race, starting with doubts in my mind, because later on I rode quickly and comfortably. I gave one-hundred percent and rode the same times that I had done in practice, just as we had planned. It is a pity that we didn't start strongly, and this is something that I need to improve in future. I am happy for having done what I needed to do, and we have finished the weekend with another good result."
Eleventh Double Podium of the Season for Repsol Honda
The Repsol Honda Team scored their eleventh double podium of the 2011 MotoGP Season this afternoon, with Dani Pedrosa 2nd and Casey Stoner 3rd, and team mate Andrea Dovizioso in 5th position in the Grand Prix of San Marino.
The three Repsol Honda riders battled very hard during the twenty eight lap race in incredibly difficult conditions with 62% humidity. Lorenzo took an early lead from the front row with Stoner and Pedrosa following closely behind. The Australian rider maintained the gap to Lorenzo at under three tenths of a second for the first ten laps, but then fatigue kicked in and he was unable to match Lorenzo's pace, who gradually pulled away. Stoner tried to keep a distance to third place Pedrosa, but was unable to fend of his Spanish team mate who passed him on lap twenty two.
Andrea Dovizioso was involved in a close battle for fourth position with Simoncelli and Spies. After a great start, the Italian jumped from sixth to fourth in the first corner but was then passed by Simoncelli on lap seven. He kept Spies behind him for the entire race and on lap twenty five he managed to pass Simoncelli to take fourth position. However, on the final lap Simoncelli regained fourth place and Dovizioso had to settle for fifth.
The riders will now enjoy a weeks rest before heading to Aragon for Round 14 of the MotoGP World Championship, which will take place on Sunday 18 September.
DANI PEDROSA – 2nd – World Championship Position: 4th with 150 points
"I'm a little disappointed with the race because the bike didn't feel as good as it was in practice. We wanted to make a change to the suspension to improve it a little but we had the opposite effect, sometimes it happens. From the first lap, I realised I couldn't keep up with Jorge and Casey, at the beginning the bike was closing the front and then it was sliding in the rear. The second part of the race was good, Jorge had a perfect race today, but I was able improve my times lap by lap and catch Casey. I overtook him and maintained my rhythm to the finish with another second place in two weeks, which it's not so bad . We've been lucky today as it was cooler than yesterday and finally the rain didn't come. It's been two very demanding races in a row and this one in particular was perhaps the toughest of the season so far, as the circuit is challenging with so many hard braking areas an d it has been very hot again, also after Indy it has been difficult to recover from the jet lag and fatigue. Let's hope we can get some rest and be stronger for Aragon".
CASEY STONER – 3rd – World Championship Position: 1st with 259 points
"At the beginning of the race I was cautious as there were a few spots of rain, once this cleared up I was pretty comfortable behind Jorge, I didn't feel the need to push and then the tiredness suddenly hit me. It was hard to find the braking points and change direction on the bike, there was nothing wrong with the tyres, nothing wrong with the bike, the team did a great job and gave me a fantastic package, I'm just worn out. After the past few races I've had to put in a lot more effort in Laguna and Brno, riding a lot harder than I normally would. This together with the neck injury from Assen which I've been struggling to get strong again due to lack of training from the hectic race calendar, has finally caught up with me. For the second half of the race I was just too tired, simple as that, I'm very grateful to have finished on the podium. All credit to Jorge, he had a fantastic race, hopefully by Aragon I'll be fully fit and recovered".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th – World Championship Position: 3rd with 185 points
"It was a tough race, I had to push hard and ride aggressively and we had to cut the power a lot due to fuel consumption issues. We suffered from this during the whole race weekend, but after the warm up I received the bad news that we had to cut even more power. This hasn't been such a big issue this year and in fact it has never been the case that I am unable to match Simoncelli in acceleration. This stems from from the riding style and the set up of the electronics, especially the engine braking. I knew that with this cut in power it would have been impossible to fight for the podium, so this affected my motivation. We had a good battle with Marco and Spies, on this occasion, for the first time this season Marco beat me so congratulations to Marco. It was a good battle but our target was to gain some points on Lorenzo and we didn't manage to. We are still third in the Championship which is the most important point, we are confident and will continue working".
Lorenzo Claims Misano for Yamaha with Perfect Victory
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo put on a perfect performance today for the Grand Prix of San Marino, leading from the start to claim an incredible race victory at the line. The reigning World Champion was quick off the line from second position, quickly securing the front spot from Championship leader Casey Stoner into the first corner. As the Australian put the pressure on, Lorenzo responded, delivering an untouchable pace to gradually increase his lead. His flawless performance also delivered the new track record for the circuit on his 12th lap with a 1'33.906. Race winner Lorenzo was joined on the podium by legendary Yamaha rider, three time World Champion Wayne Rainey to accept the trophies. Rainey had made an emotional return to Misano this weekend for the first time in eighteen years as part of Yamaha's 50th Anniversary of Grand Prix racing.
Ben Spies worked hard today, battling the hot and humid conditions with a less than perfect set up. Having started form fourth the Texan initially dropped to seventh before slowly reeling in and passing local hero Valentino Rossi. Having despatched the Italian the hunt began for fifth and sixth place riders Simoncelli and Dovizioso. Spies was able to close the gap to less than 0.2 of a second but the battling Italians made it impossible to make a clean pass, finishing in sixth position.
Lorenzo's stunning performance keeps the Championship alive, reducing the gap to Stoner in first to 35 points with five races remaining on the calendar. Spies picks up 10 points and holds fifth as they head to Aragon in Spain for round 14 in two weeks time.
Position : 1st Time: 44'11.877
"Today has been an incredible day for us. I have delivered a good race; it was a very tough and long one. Most importantly we have won again and also reduced a little bit our gap to Casey. I want to dedicate this victory to Wayne who returned to Misano this weekend and I want to say thanks to all my team for their hard work. Now we have two weeks before Aragon, I hope to continue in this shape in my country. Tomorrow we will try the 1000cc Yamaha again; I am looking forward to riding my future bike. This has been one of the best days of my career!"
Position : 6th Time: +18.092
"We started out with an ok set up but we didn't really go forward all weekend, struggling a lot with edge grip. I wasn't having a great feeling with the front either so we tried something new in warm up this morning which was honestly a disaster. We changed the front end of the bike dramatically before the race which proved to be good but took a few laps to get confidence in as it was such a big change. Once I got around Rossi I got more comfortable and was able to get to the back of Dovi and Simoncelli but was still struggling with edge grip and couldn't get close enough to strike. I tried as hard as I could but just didn't translate into top five this time. I need to say thanks to the team for all their hard work trying to solve the issues this weekend."
"It's a very great feeling to win again. I think Jorge rode a fantastic race, the bike looked really good and consistent over the whole race. He was pushing it to the limit but he knew he would have to do that to still have a chance at the Championship. Now we can start thinking about the last races being 35 points behind instead of more. It was good that Dani came in between to give us some extra bonus points. We need to keep on winning now!"
"A brilliant victory today, Jorge ran an unbeatable pace; this is the best possible finish to the weekend. Unfortunately we couldn't find a really good set up for Ben here at Misano. He got good points finishing sixth which are important for the Championship. We'll go away now and look at the data to make sure we come back fighting in Aragon in two weeks time. I have to thank the whole team who have worked extremely hard in really hot conditions here to do the best they can for both riders."
Positive race for Karel Abraham as he finishes twelfth
Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini comes to a successful end for the Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham, who finished the race at the Misano Circuit in twelfth position.
"I didn't started very well," Karel Abraham, who started from the fourth row on the grid, said. "I overtook some riders, but then I almost crashed and lost some time. I had to get back the positions I lost and eventually completed the first lap in fifteenth position."
While Nicky Hayden crashed out of the race, Karel Abraham overtook Toni Elias and moved up to the thirteenth position which he occupied until the lap 24 when he also overtook Colin Edwards, who had technical problems with his motorcycle.
"It wasn't a bad race, but I'm sorry I wasn't able to stay with Hector Barbera, who finished ninth," the twenty one years old rider admitted. "Unfortunately, he made a small gap, which I wasn't able to reduce it, and fought with the riders in front of me," added Karel Abraham, who crossed the finish line in twelfth position, just 0,958 seconds behind Hiroshi Aoyama.
MISANO GP: DE PUNIET FOURTEENTH, CHAIN PROBLEM FOR CAPIREX
It was truly an unfortunate weekend for Loris Capirossi, who wasn't able to finish the final Italian Grand Prix of his career. The MotoGP veteran had to return to the garage almost immediately due to sprocket damage that was caused by the chain stretching. Once he was back on track, he realized that the gap to the others was extremely difficult to make up, and he dropped out of the race 20 laps from the finish. Randy De Puniet didn't have the same feeling with the bike that he had at Indianapolis, and he finished the race in fourteenth place.
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet track engineer
"We used the same bike that we did in qualifying yesterday, but in both the warm-up and the race, Randy didn't find the right feeling, especially with the front tyre. At least we made it to the finish. We don't have many opportunities to try various solutions at the moment, so we have to be happy with what we have."
Randy De Puniet - 14th in race
"I'm disappointed. After Indianapolis, I thought things would go better, but this weekend was really negative in terms of my feeling with the bike. Even the heat didn't help me, but what really didn't work was the front end. I wanted to finish better, like in Indianapolis, where I was able to get into the top ten. I must forget this race in a hurry and think of Aragon, with the desire to do well."
Loris Capirossi - DNF
"Today was another unfortunate day. We managed to do something good during the warm-up, but the race was really a disaster. I had a problem with the clutch on the start, and then another one with the chain as a result. I came back to the garage to try to fix the situation, but it was useless because the gap to the others had become huge in the meantime."
ELIAS MANAGES TO FINISH 15th HIS DEMANDING MISANO WEEK END
Misano, 4 September: under cloudy skies LCR Honda MotoGP racer Toni Elias crossed the line 15th in today's San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP at the crowded Misano race track ahead 54.000 MotoGP fans. Despite the rain threat which worried the 800cc teams and riders at the beginning of the 28-lap race the ambience temperature reached 28°C and Yamaha racer Lorenzo took his third victory of the season so far.
The Spaniard aboard the RCV no.24 wasn't happy about his place on the grid at a track where he has podium form in the premier class and where he won the Moto2 race last year but enjoyed the first part of the race lapping in the 1'36 low range. After that Elias was not capable to match their competitors pace because of the same issues he faced in the last two days of practices.
Elias – 15th: "We have tried few adjustments in this morning warm but we could not get any improvement so we went back to the setting we already knew for the race. I could lap in the low 1'36 range but after some laps the guys have started to lap in the 1'35 range and it was impossible to for me to match their pace. In the middle of the race I felt the same issues of the practices missing front end confidence. This week end we did not take any step forward and this is frustrating for me and the Team but we will try to solve this situation in Aragon. This weekend has been a particular one for me and other riders because one year ago we lost a dear friend and a talented rider: so my thoughts are with Shoya's family".
NICE RACE FOR ROSSI AT MISANO, HAYDEN UNFORTUNATE
Misano's Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini was positive for Valentino Rossi from a number of perspectives. After making a change in the morning warm-up, the Italian had a great start in the race and maintained a fast rhythm for a good part of the 28 laps, enjoying some nice battles with Spies, Dovizioso, and Simoncelli in front of his home crowd.
His rhythm dropped a little toward the end, but the work carried out by his team and the base settings used for the race are promising for the next round at Aragon in two weeks.
Following a strong warm-up and a good start, Nicky Hayden fell while exiting Turn 15 on the third lap, and he wasn't able to return to the track.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
"I'm pretty happy because we didn't expect to do this well. I didn't think I'd be able to stay with the second group, which is our goal at the moment, and instead we managed it for half the race. We still weren't able to attack like we'd like to, but anyway, we were right there. I started really well from the fourth row, and I was a little crazy through the first three corners because I had to push even though there were some raindrops. It was nice after that. I stayed with ‘Sic' and ‘Dovi' for a little while and also battled with Spies, and we maintained a good pace. This morning we made a good change on the front, and if we'd done that yesterday I probably could have started closer to the front. It ended up being one of my best races of the year, although of course we have to remember that we're only talking about seventh place. Still, it was a nice race in front of a good crowd. We're fairly satisfied as we wait to take the necessary steps forward."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNF
"It was obviously a disappointing race. The team did a good job, as they made a couple of changes overnight, and this morning I was able to go a couple tenths faster than in qualifying, with a good rhythm. I thought we had a better chance for the race. It was raining a little bit at first, which is normally good for our bike. I got a decent start, felt good, and was going to take a few chances to try to get up as far as I could. Then I lost the front on the exit of Turn 15 and—bam!—I was down. We looked at the data, and I'm not really sure why I crashed. We were tip-toeing because of the rain, so maybe the left side of the tyre wasn't quite up to temperature, although it was still rider error. This track has been the worst one on the calendar for me. I certainly could use some good luck, and maybe we'll get it at Aragon."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"I think today presents some positive aspects that have to be considered. We made a change to Valentino's bike that allowed him to maintain a better rhythm in the race than he had managed in practice, and he was able to fight: he had a really good start and then rode fast for as long as he could. Of course I'm sorry for Nicky's crash, because he really had a nice warm-up this morning, and he also got a good launch off the start and passed a lot of riders. We're working really hard, and next week we'll be back on the track at Mugello for three days of testing.