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The Portuguese Grand Prix saw the Ducati Team improving with Valentino Rossi, while Nicky Hayden had to ride through an electronics issue.
After two days of working on his GP12’s settings, the Italian lapped at a pace that was both relatively fast and very consistent, eventually finishing in seventh place, which is his best result of the season so far.
Nicky Hayden, on the other hand, just tried to make it to the finish due to an electrical problem with his bike’s ECU, which was subject to interference from a radio signal near the track. As a result, all of the electronic calibrations were out of phase around the circuit, making riding extremely challenging. The American nonetheless rode with great determination to an eleventh-place finish.
Tomorrow the Ducati Team will remain in Portugal for a one-day test, with hopes that the rain forecasts turn out to be wrong so that development can continue on the GP12.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
"It went a bit better this time, in the sense that we started from a better base on Friday and we managed to prepare for today over the course of the weekend. I was able to approach the race knowing what to expect from the bike, and I therefore managed to push harder and get a little closer to the limit. The first laps were decent. I moved up a couple of positions and then I maintained a consistent pace, doing times that we expected to do. We must improve on corner exits and on acceleration because right now we’re not able to be as effective as the others due to the fact that we can’t get all of the power to the ground. We have a test tomorrow, and we’ll start working. Anyway, today I even managed to have some fun."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 11th
"Starting from the first lap, there was an electrical problem and the bike didn’t know where it was on the track. I tried my best to ride around the problem and not make mistakes. We’ll focus on tomorrow’s test now and look forward to the next race at Le Mans."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"Today Vale rode the whole race at close to the same pace as his qualifying time, he made some nice passes, and he was able to push a bit closer to the limit. I think this is a good starting point. We’re really sorry for Nicky because during the race, a radio signal interfered with our ECU’s transponder, forcing him to ride with the electronic calibration out of phase. Riding in those conditions is truly difficult, and he did a great job to finish the race."
Press release courtesy of Ducati Team.
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