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Hayden seventh in Aragón qualifying, fall affects Rossi

Hayden seventh in Aragón qualifying, fall affects Rossi

The Ducati Team riders had a challenging qualifying session for the Gran Premio de Aragón, with Hayden convinced his performance could have been better, and Rossi suffering the time repercussions from a fall.

The qualifying session for the Aragon Grand Prix saw Nicky Hayden post the seventh-best time, equaling his own best qualifying performance of the season. The result will have him starting from the third row in tomorrow’s race, for which the weather forecast is uncertain.

Valentino Rossi was less fortunate, as his qualifying effort was affected by a fall early in the session. The Italian returned to the track with the same bike fifteen minutes later, and although he improved his time, he made a small mistake in the second sector while using his second soft tyre, causing him to run wide in a corner and lose any chance of improving his position. To prepare Rossi’s second bike with the new front chassis part, the Ducati Team will use his seventh engine tomorrow, and he will have to start from pit lane.

Nicky Hayden:
“It’s good that seventh equals my best qualifying result this year, but truthfully, I thought I had a chance at the second row today, and I think the bike was capable of that too. I didn’t get it done, but I’m still lucky to be where I am, because just a few tenths slower would have been a long way back. I’m having trouble with edge grip, and although it will be a quick race here—only 23 laps—tyre wear could still be an issue for me. I’m also having a little problem over the bumps, but the team will look at some things tonight and see what we can come up with for tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi:
“I must say that we were a little unfortunate today, because I think we had good potential and that we deserved something better. Although the fall was quite ordinary, it hurt us, and then at the end, I made a little mistake with the second soft tyre and ran wide. Otherwise, I could have cut a bit more time, and it wouldn’t have taken much to start closer to the front. However, I’m 13th, and at this point we’ll use our seventh engine and start from pit lane, as the new front chassis part only works with the engine we used at Misano. Unfortunately, although we have two engines that are nearly new and probably would have let us make it to the end of the season, we aren’t able to use them. Anyway, we made this decision looking forward, and we’ve started working in what we think is a good direction, though of course we’re on our first step, with a lot more left to do.”

Ducati Team press release

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMIO DE ARAGÓN, Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

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