On a sunny but breezy day, Nicky Hayden posted a respectable third-best time in the second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi, who followed a different approach, preferring to use the soft tyre yet, finished the day ninth. The 3 Ducatis in the field (Karel Abraham is out due to injury) set the fastest speeds down the long straight.
Hector Barbera set the 4th fastest time and also the fastest trap speed so far of 346.7km/h (215mph). This is still a tick slower than the fastest ever speed recorded by Dani Pedrosa on an 800cc machine but faster than the best of the old 990s. The three Ducatis are the fastest straight line machines on track, with over 40km/h in hand compared to the slowest CRT bike, Danilo Petrucci’s steel trellis framed, Aprilia powered IODA. Rossi had remarked that in private testing the Ducati team have seen speeds over 350km/h at Mugello.
Tomorrow both factory riders will continue working on the Desmosedici’s setup, with Valentino also planning to try a long run in order to check tyre endurance, although the fact that his best time today came on tyre with 20 laps on it is promising in that regard.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 3rd (1:48.157)
“Things started out pretty well this morning. I did a 14-lap run with times that were steadily pretty good. From there, we haven’t really made a big step with the hard tyre. My best time was with the soft, which we tried for a couple laps just to make sure there are no surprises when we put it in for qualifying. We’re struggling a bit with grip on rear entry, which hasn’t been the case lately, but we have some ideas to try. This track is tough, but I like it, and there’s still time to improve before Sunday.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th (1:49.017)
“We wanted to do a long run this afternoon to check the tyres, but I had to interrupt it due to a problem with chatter. We had made a change to the fork setting compared to the morning and maybe that was what caused it because after returning to the previous setting and making some other small changes to the setup, it immediately worked a bit better. Anyway, I kept using the same tyre for the entire session, about 20 laps, and I did my best time at the end. Tomorrow we’ll try again to do a long exit, although there shouldn’t be any big problems with temperature or endurance here. We didn’t try the soft tyre today, so tomorrow we’ll also see how we go with that. There are still a few things to adjust, especially on the second half of the track, because I’m quite fast on the first part. We have some ideas, and we’ll see tomorrow.”
Source: Edited Ducati Corse Release