Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi will start from the third row of the grid tomorrow, having taken the seventh and ninth spots, respectively, in a rainy qualifying session at the Sachsenring.
The American was on provisional pole approximately five minutes from the end of the session, but he was blocked by traffic in the exciting final laps and couldn’t manage to improve his time along with the others.
Valentino Rossi was very fast in the first and last splits, but he wasn’t able to be as effective in the middle sections. Nonetheless, in case of a wet race tomorrow, he’s confident he’ll also manage to perfect his setup in those sectors.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th (1:32.795)
“It was damp this morning, and in order to save some rain tyres, we didn’t do a lot of laps, although the bike felt really good. Then at the start of qualifying, the track was really wet, with standing water and streams running across. It was difficult, and at one point we decided to come in and wait. We’re struggling for edge grip in the long corners, although traction seems really good when the bike is picked up. Things felt much better toward the end, and I was on pole with about five minutes to go, only to get held up on the last two laps. I know traffic is a common excuse, but it was real today, and I certainly would have been up a couple more spots on the grid. I’m really frustrated to be starting on the third row, but we’ll give it our best in the race tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th (1:33.217)
“We were expecting more from a rainy session because normally we’re really quite fast in the wet, but unfortunately we made a small mistake on the setup with the back end of the bike. With so much water on the track, this made it somewhat difficult in T2 and T3. Unfortunately, losing some tenths in that area put me on the third row, despite being fast in the first and last sectors. On the plus side, the data make it clear where we made the mistake, and if there’s a wet race, fixing those details should make us more competitive. If the race should be dry, I hope that the warm-up will be as well, because over the entire weekend we’ve only had 45 minutes of dry time.”
Casey Stoner snatched pole at the last moment after an exciting session which saw numerous riders claim the top spot including Hayden.
Source: Edited Ducati Corse Release, MotoGP.com