16 Australian GP : Free Practice : Uphill Start For The Ducati Team At Phillip Island


Friday Oct 14 2011

The Ducati Team started its setup work for the Phillip Island circuit today, ending with Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi ninth and thirteenth, respectively. After a good start in the morning session, the American wasn’t able to improve in the afternoon, while the Italian lowered his time by just one tenth.

Tomorrow, both riders will try to find a solution to improve grip with the Desmosedici, and Rossi, who is also having trouble with persistent pain in his left hand, will work with his team to improve braking and corner entry, searching for the good feeling he had at Motegi.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th (1:31.662)
“As far as weather is concerned, this is probably the nicest day I can remember at Phillip Island in a long time, but we always hope for better results here than what we had today. The track’s definitely got a bit bumpier, which is obviously the same for everybody, so it’s not an excuse. The bike is harsh over the bumps, so in places I have to use a slower line in order to miss them. We tried to do some laps on hard tyres this afternoon, but we need to find more grip, both in order to be faster and to get better tyre life. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ll do our best tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 13th (1:32.014)
“Today wasn’t easy, especially since we had hoped to be better immediately, like at Motegi two weeks ago, as this track is normally good for the Ducati. We started with the same setup, with just a small adjustment to the fork spring, but the feeling wasn’t the same. I wasn’t able to ride well today, in part due to the pain in my left pinky finger, which bothered me more than I expected, but especially because of the feeling with the bike. I’m not able to brake well or enter corners well. Tomorrow we’ll try stronger painkillers for my hand, and from a technical point of view, we’ll look for a different solution to improve the front and to do better than thirteenth place. We won’t change the setup completely. We’ll probably move the position of the front wheel, but we’re just talking about small changes.”

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