Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth places, respectively, at the Iveco TT Assen race on Saturday, showing the progress made after a weekend full of varying track conditions.
Following a difficult qualifying session on Friday, Valentino Rossi made great strides in the race, moving from eleventh position to cross the line in fourth. The result allowed the Italian to leave Assen on a positive note before the next round in just a few days at his home Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit.
Teammate Nicky Hayden had his the best result on a dry track, finishing in fifth position.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati MotoGP Team) 4th:
“We’re pretty satisfied with this result because compared to practice; we made a big improvement in the race. It would have been nice had we found the right direction more quickly, but this is a new bike that we’re still learning to work with, so obviously it takes some experience to get it right. In the end, we managed to find a setup that allowed me to ride pretty well but, not having tried it before, I approached the first laps very carefully. To be honest, we were also a little unlucky, because the rain during the warm-up prevented us from trying the changes. Anyway, the weekend was positive overall, because we got confirmation that this bike is better in many ways, especially with regard to the rear end, which is now much more stable. On the other hand, we also know that we must keep working because we still have a gap to the competition to make up. It’s not as big as the time we lost today in terms of seconds, but it’s still there. Still, we’re all trying really hard, and we'll continue to do so.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati MotoGP Team) 5th:
“Conditions have been all over the place all weekend, and the race wasn’t any different. We went out with a rain setup, but we saw that it was drying quickly and changed to a complete dry setup on the grid. There were a couple of little wet patches early on, but it was okay. We made a small change for the race, but nothing big. The first lap or two, the tyres heated up and I felt really good. Then I made a couple of early mistakes. I touched a white line and also pushed the front once and had to go straight at the chicane. Colin passed me, and then I managed to drag him back. I can’t celebrate fifth place too much, but it’s my best dry result of the year and puts us fifth in the points. Congratulations to Ben, who’s a fellow American. I wish it was me, but he and his team deserve it.”
Ducati Team press release