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Rossi and Ducati record best dry-result at home round in Misano

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.”

 

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Exciting podium for Rossi at Misano, Hayden seventh despite pain

On an event-filled day at the GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini, Valentino Rossi had his best race so far aboard the Desmosedici. In sunny and warm conditions, the Italian made it to the second step of the podium, having ridden at a pace that was second only to that of the winner, Jorge Lorenzo. The first start was cancelled, but Rossi enjoyed a great getaway when the red lights went out for the second time, and he exited the first turn in second place. From there, he held off attacks from first Stefan Bradl and then Alvaro Bautista before taking the chequered flag.

 

His teammate Nicky Hayden rounded out the Ducati Team’s positive day, finishing seventh despite riding with a right hand that was still swollen and painful. Tomorrow he and the team will decide together whether he’ll take part in the Ducati Team test that will take place with Valentino Rossi on the same Misano circuit.

 

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 2nd

“It was a really nice race, and I’m very happy. It’s a great result, which I’d like to dedicate to Sic and his family, Paolo, Rossella, and Martina. I’d also 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. We worked well. 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. It will be important to continue working well and do our best to take the Ducati as high as possible in the next races as well.”

 

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th

“I felt bad enough this morning that we considered not racing, but being here in Italy, I wanted to at least try. This track seems to provide a lot of drama, and I thought if I could just stay clean and get to the finish, I might salvage somewhat of a result. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult. Unless you’ve ever used carbon brakes with a Bridgestone front tyre, you don’t realize how hard you can squeeze the lever on a MotoGP bike now, and a couple of laps, I had to slow down to try to let my hand recover. It wasn’t very strong, and it was really painful, but I was able to hang on and get a seventh today. 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, his staff, the team, and the factory.”

 

Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager

“We’re very happy because we worked well, both two weeks ago in the test and with the bike’s setup over the race weekend, and we managed to put Valentino in a position where he could get a good result. Vale was able to perform to his potential in the dry, and to manage the race well to the finish. We needed confirmation on this new chassis in a confrontation with the other riders, and we got that today. Nicky did the best that he could in his condition. His hand certainly isn’t completely mended, and he had to receive pain-killing injections in order to race. Anyway, it was very important for him to return after four weeks off, and depending on how he feels tomorrow, we’ll see if he’ll be able to ride with Valentino in the test.”

 

 

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Good qualifying session for Rossi at Misano, Hayden slowed by injured hand

Following three weather-affected free practice sessions for the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, qualifying took place on a dry track. Valentino Rossi, who found a good setup for his Desmosedici, equipped with a new frame and swingarm, rode to the sixth-best time and will start tomorrow’s race from the second row.

 

After having ridden well in the wet morning session, when the requisite slower pace put less stress on his hand, Nicky Hayden had difficulty improving. The right hand, which is still healing following his crash in Indianapolis, still lacks the strength to push to the limit, and the pain becomes quite severe after a while.

 

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th (1:34.619)

“Today went pretty well. The work we did in the test was definitely positive, but we also tried a setup today that I really liked, and which allowed me to be faster. That’s why we did the entire session riding at a pace that was closer to the others, improving exit after exit. I thought I could have done even better and gone into the low 1:34s, but it’s okay anyway. We’re on the second row, and we’re not far off on pace either. We’ll try to refine a couple of things tomorrow in the warm-up because I think that the others will improve.”

 

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 10th (1:35.401)

“This morning in the wet was great. Even without working on the setup, the bike was good right away. Then the track dried out, but I didn’t go out with slicks because I didn’t want to take any risks. The qualifying session went by really quickly. We made a couple of little adjustments and got going better, but although I hate to use excuses, my hand was quite weak and painful. When I went out for the last exit, there was a bunch of CRT traffic. I thought I had time for one more flying lap to try and get on the third row, but the chequered flag was out when I came by. We’ll see how things feel in the morning.”

 

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Home round beckons for Ducati and Rossi

As the MotoGP™ grid heads to Misano for the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini the Ducati team and Valentino Rossi prepare for a rapturous reception at their second home race of the season, while Nicky Hayden returns from injury.

 

Rossi’s crew chief Jeremy Burgess sums up what challenge the Misano circuit holds and outlines the importance of the race for the Italian rider: “It’s interesting. It’s always hot in Misano. There’s a lot of acceleration from low gear to high gear, so it’s quite hard on the engine and hard on the bike. Not particularly smooth. From the point of view of Valentino it’s [the race] pretty important – it’s right on his doorstep at home, so he’ll be looking to get a good result.”

 

In addition to having won at the track twice in his career, Rossi also undertook a private test with the team at the San Marino track to dial in the bike’s settings and test some further developments. Whilst Burgess did not reveal the test outcome, he is hopeful they have found some positives: “Ducati tested there last week, so hopefully some of the developments the boys did there will be very good for us a fortnight later at the circuit.”

 

When prompted about the aim of the team for the weekend the Australian was adamant: “The same as every week – to try and win the race obviously. And to do that starting as close as close to the front as you can is important. So first of all you need to get a good qualifying position to give Valentino a good chance at the place where he likes to race.”

 

Rossi mirrors his crew chief’s thoughts: “Misano is one of two home races for us, so there will be a lot of fans and a very special atmosphere, as is always the case when we race in Italy. The track is challenging and difficult, but I like it a lot. It has some really fun sections, such as the exit from the “Tramonto” corner and the big, fast corners after the back straight. We’ll have to work well in the practice sessions in order to fight and to try and do a nice race.”

 

Nicky Hayden, who returns to the track after incurring an injury at Indianapolis that also forced him to miss the following Grand Prix at Brno is yearning to get back on his Desmosedici: “I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won’t be easy this weekend. My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line. I’ve been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I’ve been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California. Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano. Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati’s home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race. We’ve got a couple of things stacked against us, but we’ll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano.”

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