A jubilant Valentino Rossi set the second fastest time in the wet second practice session at Jerez today behind only Dani Pedrosa. It seems that despite the aggressive power delivery of the Ducati GP12 the Ducati remains fast in the wet as it was last year. Rossi will make his 200th premier class start in the race on Sunday.
The Ducati Team enjoyed a good start to the Spanish MotoGP weekend in Jerez de la Frontera, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden very fast from the beginning. Bad weather affected the day from the beginning, with morning conditions being neither completely wet nor completely dry. This made the first session useless for both Rossi and Hayden, who elected to stay in the garage.
The asphalt was wet enough in the second session to permit the use of rain tyres, and both Ducati Team riders were fast. The Italian was at the top of the time chart for some time before eventually finishing with the second-best time in FP2, behind Dani Pedrosa.
His teammate finished the session a respectable fifth. In the combined times for the two sessions, Rossi and Hayden were third and sixth respectively, despite having sat out the morning. Note that Rossi’s combined time was 3rd since none of the top riders went out in the FP1 session meaning that Ivan Silva set the fastest combined time on his CRT machine.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 3rd (1:51.440)
“We go pretty well in the wet. We’re happy to be second this afternoon because it confirms that the GP12 has the same good feeling in the wet that last year’s bike did, and that’s important. I felt good immediately today. We worked on the setting a bit but because we had already started with a good feeling, I was able to immediately ride at the limit and do some good times. Now we have to wait to see what the weather does tomorrow, and especially on Sunday.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th (1:52.254)
“It’s a shame about the weather. This morning it wasn’t really wet and wasn’t really dry. If we had unlimited rain tyres, I probably would have gone out and had a look, but with rain forecast for the whole weekend, I didn’t want to waste any. We did some laps in the afternoon and checked a couple things. It was hard to say if we made any improvements because the track dried out at the end and was almost ready for slicks. The bike felt decent in the wet, especially the geometry and turning, but it lacked some grip on the edge, which is where we’re we’ll focus tomorrow.”
Source: Edited Ducati Corse Release