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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Second row for Hayden at Phillip Island, Rossi 13th



In windy, cool conditions on Saturday at Phillip Island, Nicky Hayden rode to his best qualifying position of the year. The American will start from the sixth spot on the grid in tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix, which is also his 150th GP in the premier class.

Hayden and his team made progress with the GP11.1 on day two of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix, and they’ll try some small changes in the morning warm-up in an effort to further improve the race setup at the Phillip Island circuit.

Valentino Rossi also hopes to take a step forward in the final twenty minutes he has on-track before the race. The Italian’s day was more difficult than that of his teammate, and he’ll start tomorrow’s race from the thirteenth spot on the grid.

Nicky Hayden: 
“This was my first time on the second row this year, and for a while today, I thought I could do even better. It’s good, but we’re not celebrating sixth place since we expect a lot when we come to Phillip Island. The main thing for tomorrow will be to figure out how to get the tyres to last over race distance, and I’m having to use some strange lines to miss all the bumps. I lost a bit of time when one front tyre didn’t come in, but other than that, I’ve got no excuses. I had good, clear laps, and I went about as fast as I could. Tomorrow will be my 150th Grand Prix in the premier class, and I’m proud to be here that long and still be on a factory team. With this grid position, it would be nice to get our best dry result tomorrow. It will be very tough because a lot of guys are going quick, but we’ll try.”

Valentino Rossi: 
“Before we arrived here, we expected to do much better than this, considering that Phillip Island is a track where Ducati and I have always done well. Instead, I again had trouble riding today, and I was very slow. It’s really a shame, and I’m very sorry. Evidently we haven’t managed to solve the problems we’ve had since the first session here. We’ll try to make some small changes in tomorrow’s warm-up, but although we’ll certainly try to do better than this, I’m expecting a very challenging race.”

Ducati Team press release

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