Double top five finish for Ducati Team

Double top five finish for Ducati Team
Monday, 20 May 2013

Ducati Team enjoyed a much stronger Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, with Andrea Dovizioso leading for much of the race en route to fourth position. With teammate Nicky Hayden fifth, the result was the squad’s best since Malaysia 2012.

Having started on the front row, Dovizioso shot into the lead at the start and continued to fight with Dani Pedrosa until the Repsol Honda Team rider and eventually race winner made his seizing of the lead stick at half distance.

“It’s always nice to be at the front of the pack!” Dovizioso smiled, having moved to Ducati for 2013 from Monster Yamaha Tech 3. “I’m really happy with my feeling with the bike and, as long as the tyres were decent, I was able to manage the situation well. Dani had more than I did, but I was still able to keep a good pace.

“We had good grip, which helped us to have a nice race, but as the track dried the tyres began wearing a lot. I couldn’t keep the pace over the last six or seven laps and unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the podium. I’m sorry for the team about that but we had a positive weekend in all aspects, even in the dry.”

Hayden was also inside the top five, having pressed Valentino Rossi into a mistake that saw the Yamaha Factory Racing rider take to La Chapelle’s gravel trap.

“Wet races are tough, especially when you don’t have much time to set up the bike!” the 2006 title winner began. “I got a great start and picked up some positions in the first few corners. I didn’t feel great at first, but I began to improve and was closing on the lead group when they were battling with each other. I really enjoyed that, especially when the track was pretty wet. Things got more difficult as it dried, but I was hanging in there.

“I was looking for a way past Rossi and when he crashed I picked it up and ran wide. I put my head down and tried to close the gap, but I made a mistake and after Marquez got by I just tried to stay up and get to the finish. Top five is our best result of the season, but for a while I thought I had a possibility to do something really good. Still, there were moments this weekend when we showed more potential than we have all year and I’m really looking forward to Mugello.”

Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro also had a good day, finishing eighth as he covered for the recovering Ben Spies at Ignite Pramac Racing.

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