Sunday’s MotoGP™ race in Misano was the boost Ducati was looking for as local favourite Valentino Rossi rode the Desmosedici to second place in what is his best dry-result to date with the Italian outfit.
Alessandro Cicognani, Ducati Team’s MotoGP Project Director, summed up his and the team’s feelings: “This is what we were dreaming about. At the home track, doing such a good race. I’m very happy – for the team, for Valentino, for everybody here, for the fans – it’s overwhelming. I think it was one of the best races in the dry. Even the gap from Jorge [Lorenzo] wasn’t so high, so we are very happy about the new specification that we brought here. Let’s hope to take some more satisfaction with Valentino from now until the end of the season.”
With Ducati having tested a new chassis and swingarm at the track before the race, Cicognani commented on the step the team had taken: “It’s a continual development and it’s a good feeling from Vale. It’s also a new set up. We’ll continue to work hard and build up our bike even better, with Valentino always getting better and feeling good.”
Prompted on whether this was a sign of things to come in the near future the Italian said: “We would like to achieve even better results. We would like it [Misano’s result] to be not like a dream, but like a consistency to always be there and fighting for first position.”
Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden endured a tough race, as the painkillers in his right hand wore off sooner than expected due to the delay at the start. Cicognani said: “For Nicky it was a very tough weekend. In the morning we were thinking about not letting him ride. But I think he was good, he did the entire race, but we hope to find him 100% fit, or at least 80% fit in Aragón.”
Rossi stated after the race that he wishes to continue like this for the rest of the season: “I’d like to thank all the guys who work with me and everyone at Ducati Corse who are giving their best, like me: after two difficult years, we really needed that. I’m very pleased because we did a dry race at a high level, always with a fast pace, and with a limited gap to Lorenzo. The new frame and swingarm allow us to make more changes to the geometry, and in fact here the feeling with the front was improved and the bike also seemed to be better balanced on acceleration. The setup that we found was also good, as I managed to be fast and consistent for the whole race.”
Hayden commented that he is hopeful he can his season get back on track for the remainder of the year: “I felt bad enough in the morning that we considered not racing, but being here in Italy, I wanted to at least try. Hopefully I can start building up for the rest of the season. It’s great to see Vale on the podium, and it’s a well-deserved reward for all the effort by Filippo [Preziosi], his staff, the team, and the factory.”