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Rossi and Hayden positive despite disappointing qualifying

Rossi and Hayden positive despite disappointing qualifying

The qualifying session for the Monster Energy Grand Prix saw Ducati Team’s riders’ Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finish with the ninth and tenth best times respectively at Le Mans.

Rossi had a decent session, working well with his crew and steadily improving his bike’s setup, as well as his pace with hard tyres. The final minutes, when it was time to mount the softer tyres, were less effective because the Italian wasn’t able to mantain the second row, despite improving his performance. The nine time World Champion will start the race from the third row behind Honda’s and Yamaha’s but described the qualifying hour as the best one for the team since he has arrived at Ducati.

Hayden, who had posted the fourth-best time on Friday and was fifth-best this morning, went long in a corner during what had until then been a very fast lap and subsequently wasn’t able to improve. Despite it being disappointing for the American given the form he had shown earlier in the weekend, it was actually his best qualifying result of the 2011 season.

Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

“Naturally, we’re not happy with our position. It’s not good because I had hoped to start from the second row. I’m pleased with the way we worked though, as well as with how I rode, because I was finally able to ride well. We solved some problems and we understood that other aspects of the setup weren’t going in the right direction, so we changed them. I think this was our best qualifying session since I’ve been at Ducati, because with just a few minutes left, I was inside sixth place. Unfortunately, when the moment to use the softer tyre came, we didn’t make a big enough step, so Sunday I’ll have to start from the third row, behind some riders who had a slower pace. We have a couple more ideas to try in the warm-up though and if they work, we can do better in the race.”

Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

"This morning wasn’t bad, but I hoped for more in qualifying. The bike was working quite well at the pace I’ve been running, but when I tried to cut those last couple of tenths, it was moving around a lot. It’s unfortunate after being fourth yesterday and fifth this morning, I was hoping to be up a few spots, but I don’t really have a lot of excuses. I had a couple of good, clear laps, but I just didn’t put down the lap time I needed to. I'm starting tenth, and as bad as that sounds, it’s my best grid spot of the year. Anyway, tomorrow is what counts.”

MotoGP, 2011, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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