Valentino Rossi had a difficult weekend at Indianapolis. In both the qualifying session and the race, he couldn’t manage to match his times from the cooler free-practice sessions, when he lapped at the pace of the second group.
Affected by the lack of grip that occurred just a few laps after the start, the Italian concluded the race a lonely seventh.
Nicky Hayden, after a qualifying crash in which he suffered a hard blow to the head and two small fractures to the second and third metacarpals of his right hand, had to watch the race from the garage. The American then returned home to nearby Kentucky, where in the course of the next two days he will decide whether or not to take part in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
“It was a very complicated weekend. We expected it a little bit because last year was also challenging, but there were also some positive signs these two days. In the morning practice sessions and also in today’s warm-up, I was able to ride a bit better, with a pace of around 1:40.5. In the race though, with the higher temperatures of the afternoon, the rear tyre started to slide a lot after just a few laps. The harder I tried to push, the more it slid, so I actually went slower. I tried to stay with the others but I closed the front twice, and I nearly crashed. At that point, I decided to make it to the finish without making mistakes. I’m pleased that we go directly to Brno next week because it’s a track that I like a lot and last year we had a decent race. Then we’ll also have a test where we’ll try to take a good step forward with the bike because there are only seven rounds until the end and we have to do some better races.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNS
“To miss any race is tough, but to miss my home GP is extremely difficult. Still, I realize that I had a pretty big one yesterday and was knocked out for quite a while, so to be here today more or less okay is positive. There’s no really big damage, although injuries to the right hand are always worse than the left. Even if I thought I could have ridden today, the doctors wouldn’t have cleared me because I was knocked out for so long. Concussions need to be taken seriously, so I don’t fault them for that. It was really difficult watching the race. It would have been tough today, but we were improving through the weekend, and I had a pretty decent pace. That’s how it goes sometimes. I’ll try to get healthy and come back as soon as possible.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“After just a few laps today, it became very difficult for Valentino to ride. He tried to overcome the problems but couldn’t manage it, and at that point he decided to take home seventh-place points. We’ll try to do better at Brno. Over the next couple of days, we’ll also know whether or not Nicky will be able to be there. He has two small fractures in his right hand, so he’ll undergo some additional exams to check whether it will be possible to ride or if it’s better to skip the Czech Republic and recover for Misano. Anyway, we’ll go there with the bikes and the full team.”