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Third row slots for Ducati Team regulars

Third row slots for Ducati Team regulars

Seventh and ninth will be the starting positions for Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso in Jerez on Sunday, with the American having out-qualified his new Italian teammate for the first time this season.

With both regular riders on Row 3 and tester Michele Pirro qualifying 14th on the first outing of the new GP13 Lab bike, levels of optimism are rising at Ducati.

“We made a little step this morning and our bike was working okay on the cool track,” explains Hayden, the MotoGP™ World Champion of 2006. “Like yesterday, that changed with the heat this afternoon and performance suffered. In the end, though, it went better than qualifying at the first two races, when I had had a problem with my rear wheel. We didn’t have any problems today and I was able to enjoy it and get a better grid position. I was actually going a little quicker at one point, but debris on the track from Rossi’s crash ruined the lap, which happens sometimes.”

Dovizioso was two tenths of a second slower than his teammate on this occasion.

“I’m pleased with the work we did today because we improved the setup from yesterday and the feeling from the last two races returned,” he said. “When the temperature is cool, like this morning, we’re able to push harder and do times that are a bit closer (to the front), but the gap grows when it gets hot.”

All set to race as a wildcard entrant for the first time in 2013, Pirro was smiling when talking to the media in the paddock, but did admit an unforced error.

“I’m a bit disappointed with myself because I made some mistakes,” he quickly noted. “I did a 1’40.2 by myself right away on my first lap, but when I put on a new tyre I wasn’t able to improve that little bit that I needed to get into Q2. I’m pleased because my level is pretty good at this point, though I’m sorry because I know I could’ve done better; the potential was around that of the other Ducati riders.”

As the MotoGP™ teams remain in Jerez on Monday, the regular riders will have an opportunity to test the new GP13 Lab chassis currently being run by Pirro.

MotoGP, 2013, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, Michele Pirro, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Ducati Test Team

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