Ducati Team riders accept ‘the reality’

Ducati Team riders accept ‘the reality’
Sunday, 7 April 2013

Ducati Team finished the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar in seventh and eighth positions, with team rookie Andrea Dovizioso leading home Nicky Hayden. Both riders admit that the squad still has a mountain to climb.

2013 marks the first full season since Ducati has been running under Audi ownership and on Saturday Dovizioso – who has switched from Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – narrowly missed out on a front row grid spot. Before falling back in the race, he was able to keep up with front-runners in the early stages.

“Before we came here, this would have been the best result we could have thought about,” the Italian told motogp.com in a video interview. “This is what we expected. After qualifying everybody thought we could have a really good race, but this is the reality. I knew from my experience that the race is always different – and it was. This is the reality and we have to start from here. You can learn much more on race weekends than in winter tests, so this is our base.”

At the chequered flag, Hayden was just half a second behind his teammate.

“We knew it was going to be a tough race,” began the world champion of 2006. “We made a little bit of an improvement this morning and I do have to give credit to my guys – in the race the bike was by far the best it’s been all weekend. It did my best lap time of the weekend in the race and for most of the first half was running on qualifying pace. It was definitely tough in the beginning.

“At the end, ‘Dovi’ was better than me on the brakes, but it would have been nice to pick up one more spot. This was definitely nothing spectacular but, to find something positive in there, the race was definitely the best session of the weekend. It’s only one of 18, so hopefully we will be able to do a bit better.”

For Round 2 the will head to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, which both riders rode on production bikes during a pre-season press event.

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