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Ducati ready for fast and flowing Brno


The Ducati Team head to this weekend’s bwin Grand Prix Ceské Republiky at Brno with a sense of optimism, yet will sadly only be at half strength with American Nicky Hayden being ruled out of this weekend’s race due to the broken bones in his right hand sustained in a crash last weekend in Indianapolis.

 

Nonetheless, his crew chief Juan Martínez outlines the task that the team’s sole rider, Valentino Rossi, will face this weekend: “Brno is quite a wide racetrack, so this allows the machines to have quite wide lines and carry a lot of speed through the corners. This should be good for the spectators, because you can see so many passes there. Once you approach turn three and four you have so many different lines; you normally have three or four riders with different braking points on a different line, so there is usually lots of crossing. Brno is quite a nice track.”

 

The Italian outfit, which struggled with rear tyre grip at the often tight and twisty Indianapolis circuit, will be buoyed by the fact that Brno’s characteristics allow more use of the Desmosedici’s high power output, as well as its strong points with regards to handling. Martínez said: “For us it’s very important to use the engine well there, because you have an uphill close to the last part of the race track, so the engine becomes very important for the end of the race. For us Brno has normally been good. Normally our machines struggle quite a bit on the tight corners, and Brno doesn’t have that, so normally it’s a racetrack where we’re expecting to have a good result there.”

 

Rossi, who has won at the track seven times in his career so far is looking forward to returning to a track he enjoys: “Laguna and Indy were two very difficult races, so I’m happy that we race again in just a few days, at Brno. The next two weeks will be very important for the rest of the season. I expect to do better in the Czech Republic, as it’s a track that I like and that is more ‘normal.’ I had a pretty good dry race there last year with Ducati, also in terms of the gap to the front. Then next week we’ll have two days of testing at Misano, where we’ll have some new things to try that I hope will help us to be faster in the last part of the season.”

 

Hayden, who is currently in the U.S., recovering from his injuries, hopes to be back again for the Misano round on the 16th September, but in the meantime is naturally disappointed at missing the race: “It’s tough to miss another race. I don’t have big problems, but my hand is still very swollen and I don’t have much strength, and of course right-hand injuries are worse for motorcycle racers. I would have been at far less than 100 per cent, and if I used too much force or crashed again, I could displace the breaks and possibly be in big trouble. As much as the racer in me doesn’t like staying at home and missing track time and points, I need to listen to the experts and try to heal up and get ready for Misano. That’s an important race for me and for Ducati, and I’ll be doing all the rehab to come back as fit as possible. I don’t like it, but it’s the right thing to do.”

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Engine driveability key for Ducati at Sachsenring


As the Ducati Team heads to this weekend’s MotoGP™ round at Germany’s Sachsenring, Nicky Hayden’s crew chief Juan Martinez delves into the challenges that await the Italian outfit at the narrow and twisty track.

He comments: “At the Sachsenring the driveability of the engine is quite important because there are many places where you cannot use all the power. So it’s very important how you deliver the power. When you’re touching the throttle it’s very important not to loose grip, as it hurts the tyre life a lot.”

Grip has been one are where Ducati have struggled slightly this season, yet Martinez is not ruling out finding a successful solution at the German track: “We’ll have to see how the 1000cc works here. We have an idea from the previous year, but the electronics have improved quite a bit, which should help with rear tyre wear. The right side of the tyres is very important at the Sachsenring as they get to quite a high temperature. The compound we have been using is quite strong, so you have to work on the set-up to get a mechanical grip, trying to compensate the lack of grip from the tyre.”

With positive results in the past, Martinez is hopeful of a positive outcome: “As always, we’re going to try and do our maximum on the Ducati. In the past we have had some good results there.”

Rossi, who has won at the Sachsenring five times in his career and climbed the podium on four other occasions, suffered a rear tyre fault at the last race in Assen, and is hoping for an improved race this time out: “I like the Sachsenring track. It’s difficult because it’s slow and narrow, but it also has some very fast sections, in addition to big elevation changes. Last year we had a difficult weekend in Germany, but of course my goal is always to do better every time we return to any track.”

Hayden, also a frequent visitor to the Sachsenring rostrum, having finished third four times, mirrors those thoughts, yet also speaks of the track with great enthusiasm: “Some people complain about the Sachsenring because it’s so small and tight, but I like it. The lap times are really short, and usually really close. You hardly ever use sixth gear, but it might have the best corner in MotoGP: the fast, blind, downhill Waterfall corner. When you’re bike’s working, it’s a lot of fun, although I’ve come off there, which definitely wasn’t fun! I like counter clockwise tracks, and I’ve been on the pole and on the podium there. Our bike tends to be hard on tyres, which can be a problem at the Sachsenring, but I think we made a little step with that this past weekend that could help us. I’m looking forward to it.”

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Day 2 of Valencia test concludes 2011 MotoGP season


Just as was the case yesterday, the second and final day of Valencia’s post-race MotoGP test was blessed with ideal weather conditions.

Valentino Rossi was among the first riders to get on his bike after the track was opened, and he worked tirelessly with his team and Filippo Preziosi to carry out the tests requested by the engineers, who will continue working on the 2012 project tomorrow in Bologna.


Once again, official test rider Franco Battaini substituted for Nicky Hayden, who has an injured scaphoid in his right wrist, though the American stayed at the track and followed the test from the Ducati Team garage. Hayden will likely undergo a small operation in the coming days to speed up his recovery.

MotoGP concludes its 2011 season of racing and testing, and will return to action with the first winter test, planned in Sepang, Malaysia, from January 21 to February 2.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.332 (62 laps)
“These were two important days of testing because we needed to collect a lot of data for the next few months of work, which will be crucial. The positives of this bike are certainly the engine, which I like, and the fact that it handles a bit better than the previous one. It’s definitely more fun, in part because you can get sideways more. The frame isn’t bad, but it needs work. We have to improve the braking, because I need to brake harder and later, and we need to improve traction under acceleration. Filippo has many ideas, and now we have a little time to apply them before next year’s tests.”

Filippo Preziosi (Technical Director)
“We were lucky to have sun and generally much better conditions than what we had over the race weekend, and this allowed us to take full advantage of both test days. Unfortunately, Nicky wasn’t able to ride, but at least he’ll have plenty of time to recover before the first test at Sepang next year. We asked Valentino, Franco (Battaini) and the other Ducati riders to carry out a series of comparisons between different solutions, as there are still chassis parameters that we have to define for the project we’re working on. It has been really hard work, but we’ve collected a lot of information that we’ll now use for the design that we’ll be doing in the coming weeks.”

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Ducati Team starts work for 2012


The clouds finally cleared in Valencia today, allowing the MotoGP riders to take full advantage of the seven-hour-long first of two days of testing.

Valentino Rossi started the important work of collecting information in preparation for the 2012 winter test season, trying out a long list of setups with the team, under the supervision of Technical Director Filippo Preziosi.

Nicky Hayden made a late decision not to take part in the test, due to injuries incurred when he was taken out in the first turn during Sunday’s Grand Prix. X-rays to his right hand shortly after the fall proved negative, but an MRI today revealed non-displaced fractures to his scaphoid and radial styloid.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.857
“This bike is nicer to ride than the 800, even if we’re only just starting our work. You can say that it’s improved in some respects, while in others, it’s very similar to the other bike, but that’s exactly what we expected. We know we’re doing preparatory work for the bike that we’ll use in the 2012 winter tests, which are very important. The engine seems to be pretty good already. It’s fast, although I never really found myself with the others to do a direct comparison. On the other hand, I’m a little slower in mid-corner, and we also have to try to improve rear grip because for now, we’re not able to get the power to the ground and take full advantage of it. But it’s not bad for a first taste, and the really important thing is that we can work more freely, changing the bike’s balance, the weight distribution, the measurements, and whatever we need as we prepare for the important next three months of work.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team)
“This morning I put my leathers on to go out, but I was still pretty uncomfortable. I went to the mobile clinic for a painkiller, and when I got there, the doctor said it would be better to get a proper scan. They set me up for an MRI at a local clinic, and the fractures were pretty clear. After talking to the doctor and my physiotherapist, we decided not to ride, even though we do have some stuff we’d like to test for Ducati. The scaphoid is a unique bone, and if you mess with it, it can take a long time to heal because it gets limited blood supply. I just have to be smart and watch the test. We’ll get some more opinions and decide whether to get surgery.”

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