Ducati pair pleased to close gap


Sat, 02 Jun 18:55:36 2012

Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi said they were both pleased to have closed the gap to the front during MotoGP qualifying at Catalunya, even if they also had individual complaints with the GP12.

Hayden edged Rossi for the third time in the opening five races, and finished within eight tenths of poleman Casey Stoner - the smallest gap to the front he has enjoyed all year.

He said however he was frustrated not to have achieved more than seventh, having struggled with traffic and with the set-up of the GP12.

"This morning I did a pretty decent lap time with a hard tyre and thought I could possibly get on the second row, but this afternoon, right from the beginning, I struggled to get the same feeling and had to change a couple of things," Hayden said.

"I was able to do an OK lap, but truthfully, I thought I could get into the 1m41s. We'll start seventh tomorrow, which isn't great, but the gap to the front is the smallest it's been all year.

"On my qualifier there was a bit of traffic so I blew off my first lap, and then on my second I had a big moment coming out of Turn 2.

"We'll certainly have to improve our consistency tomorrow, and race distance could be really tough for tyre wear, but maybe the temperatures will be cooler and help us."

Rossi meanwhile said he was pleased to have made the third row of the grid in ninth. He also took heart from Ducati's race simulation, but admitted the bike was still struggling in the final corners, where he often lost around four tenths to the frontrunners.

"I'm pretty pleased because we improved the bike's set-up and we made the third row, which was our goal for today, even if I really lose a lot in the last part of the track, especially on entry in the last two corners," Rossi said.

"Anyway, we can also be pretty satisfied with our race pace because I was able to ride well and consistently, even on a used tyre.

"The forecasts say it could rain tomorrow, and of course we know that we can do well in the wet, although it could also be good for us even if we just get a bit cooler temperatures."


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account