Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Bautista robbed of a top-six challenge at Mugello
Publish Date: Sunday, July 03, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista saw his hopes of what looked like an impressive finish well inside the top-10 disappear in an instant at Mugello today, when a costly slide almost caused the Spaniard to crash.
Bautista got a superb start from 14th on the grid and was up to ninth by the end of lap one. He then got involved in a five-rider battle for sixth place – a position he held for six consecutive laps - and looked like he was heading for a very strong finish, when a huge front-end slide cost him dearly on lap-16. Bautista fought to save his Suzuki GSV-R, but accidently knocked the gear-lever into neutral and ran off the circuit. He re-joined the race and continued to post consistent laps before finally bringing his Rizla Suzuki home in 13th place.
A colourful crowd of over 83,000 fans packed the Italian circuit under brilliant blue skies, bright sunshine and air temperatures of 29ºC. They witnessed World Champion Jorge Lorenzo take his second victory of the season, with current championship leader Casey Stoner third.
Rizla Suzuki now has a week away from racing before heading to eastern Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship that will be held at Sachsenring on Sunday 17th July.
"It was always going to be a difficult race today because we were starting from the back of the grid and that is never easy. I made a good start and had a couple of strong laps to get up to sixth position. I tried to push to get to the group at the front because they were still close, but I was already starting to have a bit of trouble with the grip from the front of the bike. I nearly crashed two of three times on several corners and my elbow touched down and saved me once! I tried hard to keep my position in the group and my overall feeling was good, even though I couldn't enter the corners exactly as I wanted to. To finish the race in sixth or seventh today was certainly possible, but as I entered turn 12 I lost the front completely. I went into neutral and went off the track and lost a lot of positions. I am happy with the first part of the race, but disappointed for the last part, because as I said before sixth or seventh was there for us today. We have to remain positive though and to keep heading in the right direction and improve over the next races."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"It has been a disappointing result for everybody, but taking into context where we qualified, today's race was very encouraging and came closer to showing the true potential of rider and machine. The first five were in a different race today, but to come from 14th on the grid to sixth in the first few laps and to do a 49.4 on the 14th lap – when we qualified at 50.4 on fresh tyres – gives an indication of how much Álvaro stepped his game up this afternoon. I think without doubt Álvaro would have stayed in the fight for sixth place with Valentino right till the end, but we'll never know now! There is now a strong incentive to get closer to the sharp end in the practices – both in Sachsenring and Laguna – and show more of the fight like we did in Mugello this afternoon."
Lorenzo storms to victory in thrilling Italian Grand Prix
Round 8: Italian GP – Race
Mugello Circuit, Sunday 3 July 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Jorge Lorenzo used his hard front and rear Bridgestone slicks to best effect today, overcoming Casey Stoner's early lead of 2.3 seconds to take the lead six laps from the chequered flag and set a new circuit lap record on lap 17 of 23.
Building an early lead with great initial pace, which included him setting a provisional lap record on his first flying lap, Stoner was unable to resist the pace of both Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso over the final six laps, allowing Dovizioso to score his best result of the season in front of a home crowd.
After a race-long battle, it was Ben Spies who got the better of Marco Simoncelli for fourth position, ahead of Valentino Rossi who finished sixth having climbed from 12th on the grid.
As conditions remained fine and dry today, and the track temperature reached 54 degrees Celsius, every rider on the grid opted for the hard compound front tyre for the race. Rear choices were more mixed however, and although the top six riders used the harder rear slicks, tyre choices were split exactly in half throughout the field with eight riders favouring the harder rear and eight using the softer.
Taka Horio – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"That was a very exciting race to watch, and I must congratulate Jorge and the Yamaha team for their performance today. He managed his tyres very well and as a result was very fast at the end, setting a new lap record and winning in a great fashion. Races like this are very good for the show, and I believe that Andrea's good performance in front of his home crowd also gave a lot of excitement to the spectators, so I hope we can see more races like this."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"We have seen the laptimes have been very good all weekend so it is no surprise a new lap record was set, but what is impressive is that firstly Casey set a provisional record on just the second lap of the race and that Jorge set the lap record on lap 17. This illustrates how different rider and bike packages use our tyres differently, and how important the overall bike, rider and tyre package is in determining race-distance performance and race pace. Jorge's winning race time on this new tarmac and using our asymmetric rear slicks for the first time was 40 seconds faster than the previous race time record, which shows not just good outright pace but also consistency. Jorge rode a very good race today and he and the Yamaha team made the very best of our tyres today in what was a very exciting race."
Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
"This win was more sweet than Jerez. It was difficult at the beginning as I knew Casey was so strong in the first few laps, but I didn't give up and kept pushing and pushing. It was difficult to pass Andrea so I had to take some risks, and when I made a small mistake and was behind Andrea it was difficult to believe I could win. I could improve my laptime from the middle of the race to the end and this I like as this is my style. It's a really important win, and from now everything is possible. I have won a lot of races very spectacularly in my career, but this is one of the best."
Edwards battles to top ten in Mugello
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought ninth position in scorching hot temperatures during the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at the Mugello track in Italy this afternoon.
Starting from his best grid position of the season in sixth place, the Texan quickly established himself in a group locked in an exciting fight for sixth position that included home crowd favourite Valentino Ross and compatriot Nicky Hayden.
Despite pushing hard to remain in the five-rider battle, Edwards was unable to maintain his fast early pace, the 37-year-old not getting the grip levels he expected from his soft compound Bridgestone rear tyre choice as track temperatures hit well over 50 degrees.
Today's 21-lap race ended in premature and disappointing fashion for Cal Crutchlow. The British rider was involved in the captivating tussle that involved Edwards when he experienced a loss of feeling and confidence with the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in the early stages.
Not wanting to risk a crash that might further damage the left shoulder he broke during qualifying for his home race at Silverstone last month, Crutchlow opted to retire after completing six laps and is now concentrating on making a return to the top 10 when the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes at Germany's Sachsenring on July 17.
Colin Edwards 9th – 53 points:
"That was a pretty tough race. Basically we made the wrong rear tyre choice but it was so hard to decide which one was g oing to the better option. I'd been fast on both options but I felt like there was an advantage with the softer compound. It seemed easier to do the lap times that I needed to do to get away with the guys at the start. But I changed my mind a few times because we'd not had the afternoon sessions on Friday or Saturday because of the rain, so we didn't know how the tyre would react in the really hot conditions. With the track temperature much higher I just never had the grip I expected at the beginning. It never changed from the first lap to the last. There was no drop in performance, but it never really had the grip I wanted at the beginning. At the end of the day we made a bad call and sometimes it doesn't work out. To come out of a difficult race with a top ten is still a half decent result, so we move on now and hope for a better race in Germany."
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 32 points:
"Right from the first lap I didn't have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide. I just didn't want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits. I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I'd reached my limit. I am sorry for the Team because we have all worked incredibly hard and now I am determined to put this race behind me and focus on having a strong weekend at the next race in Germany, which I'm looking forward to."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
"This was a difficult race for everybody on the grid. The weather was changing all weekend and I think we never had that temperature on track on Friday and Saturday that we saw today, so tyre choice was a bit of a gamble. Our riders to ok the soft rear and hard front and the start was not so bad and I think they were having a good race until Cal came into the pits. This is the second time in successive races that he has stopped and in Assen we could clearly see there was a problem. But his tyre choice was the same as Colin, so I would have expected him to stay out considering where he was in the race. And he needs experience of the bike and this track, so we'll put today behind us and hope to see him showing his true potential in Germany. Colin did not have the ideal set up because of the changing conditions and he still finished ninth and got some points and that is important, so he did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. I also want to say big congratulations to Yamaha and Jorge. Not a lot of people can recover that gap to Casey and the second week in a row we have seen how strong the Yamaha YZR-M1 package is. I hope we will be closer to them for the next race."
Lorenzo Masters Mugello
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered an incredible performance this afternoon, taking a hard fought victory at Mugello to claim the Grand Prix of Italy, the second consecutive GP win for Yamaha this season. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider was quick to get his YZR-M1 off the start line, jumping from fifth on the grid to tuck in behind race leader Casey Stoner on the first corner. Stoner went on to build an early lead while Lorenzo engaged in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso for second. Having finally dispatched him after four laps the Mallorcan began the hunt for Stoner. Lorenzo delivered a series of perfect laps to catch and then pass the race leader before extending a lead of just under a second to the line.
Ben Spies spent the Mugello race locked into a battle with Marco Simoncelli for fourth place. The American rider had opted for a slightly different set up to that used during the practice sessions and struggled to gain the same performance for the race. Having swapped places with Simoncelli several times Spies then waited to make his move, passing the Italian on the final lap to take fourth place in the sweltering Tuscan sunshine.
Lorenzo now heads to Sachsenring for the Grand Prix of Germany in two weeks time having reduced the gap to Championship leader Stoner to 19 points with a total of 133. Team mate Spies jumps another place up in the standings to sixth, just 13 behind Valentino Rossi in fourth.
Position : 1st Time: 41'50.089
"For a long time it has been one of the sweetest victories. The victory in Jerez was not ‘real' because it was raining. It's been a tough race because of the hot conditions without water in the camel back. I pushed and tried to be there with all of my heart! I tried to overtake Andrea in the downhill at the chicane and then I did the same with Casey because I thought it was the perfect corner for it. Now we have a competitive bike and I hope to keep this pace. Now I am more motivated and confident for the future, after this great result. I think it was one of my most demanding races in my career. It reminded me a bit the 125cc times, with many overtakings. I did a good start again and now I just want to watch the race again on TV. Congratulations to all of my team, they never gave up. I knew it would have been difficult today, but the ‘martillo' is back!"
Position : 4th Time: +8.980
"It was a good race, me and Simoncelli battled it out. I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning which I'm a little upset about. Looking at the lap times we definitely weren't the strongest but I think we were just on the cusp of fighting for the podium. I made a couple of crucial mistakes on lap three and six and then let the front guys get away. We did a good job getting back up to Simoncelli. Once I saw we weren't going to catch the front guys I let Marco back by, I wanted him to pull me around to see where I was stronger than he was. I left it until the last lap, the last corner I could see he was leaving the door wide open so we were able to sneak right in and get fourth place. It's great for Yamaha to get a win and me a fourth, I would have liked to have been on the podium but you can't do it every time. Marco and I had fun, we had a couple of good passes back and forth and he was clean so I was happy!"
"A great race, we feel really happy for everybody. He deserved it really well and fought for it right to the last lap. He did the pace that only Jorge could do, especially at the end. I'm really happy for him and for the team; we all worked hard together to get this. Now we are back in shape and feeling better than we ever did so let's see what happens in the next 11 races."
" First of all, Jorge made a fantastic race, the way he controlled the racing was superb and also how he passed Stoner on the most difficult point of the circuit showed us his confidence. To win here in Italy for the first time is great. We have two wins now which is really important for us, it proves that the work we have done so far is good. For sure we are looking to Sachsenring with good optimism. Ben had a difficult start to the race then he was catching up. He could have caught the first three guys but then he had some fighting with Simoncelli. He was calm and waited until the last lap to pass him and get a good fourth place. This brings valuable points for the championship standings."
Double podium for Stoner and Dovizioso and positive return for Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda team scored another fantastic double podium in a dramatic Grand Prix of Italy.
The Mugello race, attended by the former President of Honda Motor Mr. Takeo Fukui saw Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso scoring a well deserved second place and his third consecutive podium finish of the season, and Casey Stoner taking third place, the seventh podium from eight races.
Casey Stoner led the race with relative ease for 17 laps, but after a few laps he suffered a lack of grip probably due to wrong tyre pressures for the 54 degree track temperature which was much higher than in the practice sessions. He was not able to respond when Lorenzo took the lead with 6 laps to go and at this moment an intense battle began between Casey and Andrea, with the Italian giving a hundred percent in front of his home fans to overtake his team mate on the last lap and cross the finish line in second place.
Team mate Dani Pedrosa celebrated an impressive return to the competition after a month and a half away from the double operation on his right collarbone. The Spanish rider overcame intense pain and kept a strong race pace, crossing the finish line in eighth position. Neither the pain in his shoulder or a problem with the clutch at the start, prevented Dani Pedrosa to shine in Mugello on his return to MotoGP. The Spanish rider not only lasted a 23 lap race at one of the most physically demanding circuits in the World, but was also able to match the lap times of the leading group.
Casey Stoner maintains his lead in the MotoGP World Championship with 19 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso is third, 14 points behind the Yamaha rider, and Dani Pedrosa is now seventh in the overall standings.
Tomorrow, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will be back on track in Mugello in an Official Test, where development work will continue on the 800cc machine, it is yet to be confirmed if Dani Pedrosa will join them, a decision will be made tomorrow morning.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 2nd – World Championship Position: 3rd with 119 points
"Mugello is always a special event and the feeling on the podium is unbelievable. Today I was the first and only Italian rider on the podium and this makes the result even more special. The support of the fans was incredible, they were all pushing for me and they motivated me a lot especially when I was tired because of the heat and this track which is so physically demanding. This morning we fine tuned the set up to have more stability with the front and I had a good feeling. We made a good start and we were able to be consistent for the whole race despite the fact there was not so much grip and the tyres were spinning. In the first part of the race I had some good battles with Jorge for the second position. Then, at the end of the race, overtaking Casey gave me the second place. I could see Casey was spinning a lot but he was very strong in some corners so I couldn't pass him where I wanted, in the end I managed it on the last lap. This second position is so important for the Championship, because I earned some good points and reduced the gap. Casey and Jorge are really strong but we have shown that we are there, the season is long and we just need to believe it. I want to thank the team and all the people around me. We have a winning bike and we are working hard in all areas".
CASEY STONER – 3rd – World Championship Position: 1st with 152 points
"I can't say I'm totally happy with the result today, we started the race very strong and everything felt fantastic on the bike, however, we had a problem with the tyres after a few laps. We believe this was related to incorrect tyre pressures for today's track temperature and we should have probably reduced them a little compared with what we used in warm up because as soon as the tyres got up to a certain pressure, I lost all the grip in the rear and this led to me starting to close the front. I think this is why we were able to be so fast in the beginning of the race, as the tyres were able to warm up very quickly, but then the tyre overheated and I lost all the grip. I'm disappointed as our potential to win today was high, I thought I might still have potential to fight with Jorge and Andrea, but Jorge came past and he was too fast for me. Then Andrea came past and I thought I could respond, but I didn't have any traction. It's still a podium, and important points but I'm here to win races".
DANI PEDROSA – 8th – World Championship Position: 7th with 69 points
"I'm very happy with my performance and the result was worth it in the end, even if I'm still far from 100% fit. Historically in the past, when I have tried to go back racing after an injury I wasn't able to finish the race and today I managed to. I see that even being out for a quite a long period of time, I haven't lost the speed, so I'm sure that I'll back on top when my physical condition improves. At the start of the race, I had a problem with the clutch and I couldn't operate the gears for a lap and a half, so I lost everything in this moment. I lost many places and when the clutch started working again I tried to get into rhythm and find my pace, even though I was very tired very soon. I was improving step by step and caught the group ahead consisting of Valentino, Barberá and Bautista. However, by that time I already had no energy to push any harder. I am extremely tired now, I gave everything I had and to take eighth position and eight points in my conditions, together with this clutch problem is quite a good result in my view. I'm satisfied with my race pace, I didn't think I would be able to lap in the high 1'49's, low 1'50's during the twenty three laps, so I'm happy about this. Congratulations to Jorge (Lorenzo) for his good race and many thanks to my fans and doctors for helping me to be back".
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ COMES CLOSE TO EQUALLING BEST MOTOGP RESULT OF 2011
MAPFRE Aspar rider places seventh at Mugello in one of his best premier class race performances
The MotoGP riders were following on from an exciting Moto2 race, and thus had to step up their game to wow the crowd at Mugello. That they did, in a contest that appeared to be heading in the familiar direction of a Casey Stoner runaway victory. The Australian had pulled out a two-second gap at the front, but Jorge Lorenzo and Andre Dovizioso eventually reeled him back in and passed him. Spies and Simoncelli also had an entertaining tussle behind the podium finishers, and Rossi, Barberá and Bautista joined in the excitement. Lorenzo took the lead on lap eighteen and was able to win the race, completing a treble of Spanish wins across the three categories (125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP) in Italy. The next round of the world championship takes place at Sachsenring in Germany.
Hard work is sometimes the only way to escape a tricky situation, and that was the strategy for MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá and his crew at Mugello. The previous two rounds of the season had been plagued by problems for the Spaniard, who had not been able to find an adequate setting for his Ducati. A return to basics was conducted in Italy, despite a lack of useful practice time. Progression had been made in qualifying to take him up to tenth on the grid, and on race day Barberá went from strength to strength. Fighting with Edwards, Crutchlow and Bautista for most of the race, he also engaged in battle with home favourite Valentino Rossi. He ended up just behind the Italian, as the second highest placing Ducati rider. He was close to equaling the sixth place taken at Jerez, but seventh with such an impressive ride was almost a more satisfying feat.
7th Héctor Barberá: "Maybe it wasn't so in terms of the actual result, but in terms of performance and satisfaction, this was my best race in MotoGP. I rode strongly and worked hard all race to keep my pace up. We came here off the back of two bad races and today we had a bit of luck for once. We tested out a lot of things and this helped us to turn our situation around for this race. The start of the weekend was when we had some problems that we were unable to resolve, but the team worked their hardest once again and took us out of these tough circumstances. The key to our improvement was taking a step back and returning to some settings that we already knew well. The Ducati is a very sensitive bike, so from now on we won't be trying any radical changes and will keep on a solid path. I had a good fight with Valentino but in the end I wasn't going to risk things too much. The aim was to enjoy the race and finish it, and we did this with flying colours."
ELIAS MANAGES TO FINISH 15TH AT SWELTERING MUGELLO
Mugello, 03 July: The Italian GP got underway at 14:00 local time in very hot conditions with ambience temperature of 29°C (54 degrees on the asphalt) ahead 83.748 excited fans that have celebrated Dovizioso second place on the podium (Lorenzo has won the race whilst Stoner has obtained the third position).
LCR Honda MotoGP Toni Elias had a difficult session yesterday with the mixed weather conditions at the 5.245Km track and he wasn't able to get the most out of his RC212V. Elias took another brilliant start from the last spot on the grid today but after few laps he has started to struggle with front. The Spaniard managed to finish the race in 15th place but he is obviously upset about his poor performance.
Elias – 15th: "Yesterday I was the last one after the practice thus I thought I could have risked with a different front setting for the race. But it was a wrong decision and during the race I have paid for that. Even today I took another exciting start from the last row but in the second lap I immediately felt that the front was unstable. I made a big effort to finish the race but obviously this is result is very frustrating for me and the Team".
Karel Abraham finishes twelfth in a demanding race at Mugello
The Grand Prix of Italy saw Karel Abraham fighting for the top ten finish in a demanding race at Mugello.
The race was held under favorable conditions as temperature of the track reached 50°C.
Unfortunately, the Cardion AB Motoracing rider, who made a decent start and fought with two other riders for tenth place, wasn't feeling very well at these conditions and began to lose valuable time during the second part of the race.
"The biggest problem was the high temperature," said Karel Abraham when he returned to the garage of the team Cardion AB Motoracing. "I can't be satisfied with the result of this race."
"I made a good start but then I wasn't able to keep the ideal line in the first corner and I lost some positions," continued twenty-one years old rider. "Set-up of the motorcycle wasn't ideal and the tyres were quite slippery."
"I am sorry that I wasn't able to keep pace with the riders ahead of me," continued Karel Abraham, who finished 43,964 seconds behind the reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo and crossed the finish line in twelfth place, just 3,690 seconds ahead of Alvaro Bautista.
With 37 points is now Karel Abraham in twelfth place in the overall standings.
SIMONCELLI BANKS FIFTH PLACE IN HOME GRAND PRIX
As expected the Italian Grand Prix proved to be a gruelling affair today as track temperatures of 50°C, the highest they have been all weekend, made life difficult for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli. The home hero crossed the line at the back of a lead group of five riders, in some ways a disappointing result but above all an important and satisfactory finish after a string of fruitless races. Hiroshi Aoyama battled through his own physical problems to find a rhythm at the end of the race that was lacking at the start, a positive sign ahead of tomorrow's test here.
Marco Simoncelli (5th) "It was a very tough race because it was really hot and the track conditions were new to us so I didn't have the same feeling as in practice. The front three were able to set a slightly faster pace, I was able to hang on for six or seven laps but after that I lost touch. I tried to fight off Spies at the end but he was faster than me through the final corner and managed to take the inside line to pass me. Anyway, I am happy because it was a hot and long race. It was a positive weekend overall because the most important thing for us was to finish the race. The strange thing is that when the racing is close at the front and there is only nine seconds covering the top five I seem to stay upright but when they are more strung out and I have the opportunity to make positions up I have some kind of disaster!"
Hiroshi Aoyama (11th) "Unfortunately this weekend was a tough one for me because I am still struggling with the injuries from Assen. My starting position wasn't good and that made the first half of the race more difficult but I managed to pick my pace up in the second half. Tomorrow we have a day of testing and I hope we can find something that improves my feeling with the bike compared to today."
Fausto Gresini "The higher temperatures today didn't make life easy for us but Marco did well because it was so important for him to have a good first few laps after all the controversy of recent races. I am happy because he had a good race but I am sure he can do much better. We knew today that we could have been first or fifth, we were fifth and that's okay because we can take heart and confidence from it. I want to thank Marco, the team and all our partners who have believed in us. We are getting closer."
FOURTEENTH PLACE FOR RANDY DE PUNIET
Randy De Puniet ended the eighth round of the MotoGP championship in 14th place. The Frenchman was unable to make a change in his race because of some problems with the rear of the bike and under braking, which prevented him to attack the group in front of him. Before a short break until the next race at the Sachsenring, tomorrow the Pramac Racing Team rider will take part in the official test with his Desmosedici.
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet rack engineer
"The only positive aspect is that we finished the grand prix. We're disappointed, as Randy came in with the rear tire nearly destroyed. In addition, the recent usual problems occurred during the race. Every time he tried to pass, he went off the track. We'll work during tomorrow's to try to limit the damage."
Randy De Puniet - 14th in race - 17th in MotoGP standings
"I think there is little to say today. Yet another bad race, although this time I managed to cross the finish line. I found several problems, especially when cornering and braking. I couldn't go fast because when I tried to accelerate, I lost the front. I could go faster than the group that I had ahead of me, but I wasn't able to pass anyone. The rear tire is virtually destroyed. I'm disappointed, and I need to get some positive results this season."
COMEBACK RACE FOR ROSSI AND HAYDEN AT MUGELLO
Both Ducati Marlboro Team riders charged from the rear at Mugello. Valentino Rossi was left behind on the start and found himself in twelfth place at the end of lap 1, and motivated by the enthusiastic crowd, he caught the group of riders in front of him and climbed to sixth place. The Italian had a better pace in the race than he had all weekend, thanks to a setup change that his technicians made before the warm-up.
Nicky Hayden had a great launch at the start and immediately climbed to fifth place, but he went long in a corner and couldn't stop on the dirty part of the asphalt. He went off the track and re-entered in last place. He climbed as high as tenth place after that, and although he was disappointed by the lost opportunity, he was pleased that the work done over the weekend has helped him find a good feeling with his GP11.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 6th
"We have a bike that is different in many aspects from the one we started the season with. We're aware that it needs to undergo further development from a technical point of view, but even at this stage it has shown that it has a good margin of improvement just with setup. The weather didn't help us at Assen, and the same was true here. We had limited time to work this weekend, so once again we made a significant setup change on Sunday morning. It was a step forward, and in the race I was able to have a better rhythm than in practice, although the improved behavior in corners was accompanied by a small loss of grip. Anyway, we think it's a good direction to try in the future with our setup. I lost some time on the start because the clutch slipped, and I was almost last into the first turn, with a lot of ground to make up. It's a shame because I've always managed to do well on the starts with the Ducati this year. Still, I'm not sure how long I would have been able to stay with Spies and Simoncelli even if I had started better. The gap on lap times was less than at Assen, which is positive, but it's still quite large, about eight tenths. We have to keep working in order to stay with the Hondas and Yamahas. We're all doing all we can, both us at the track and the guys at Ducati. It's certainly a difficult situation, but to come here to Mugello and see all these flags and fans cheering always provides a big thrill and gives us motivation to return to the front."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 10th
"We used a different spring combination in the clutch, and I got probably my best start of the year. I was up to fifth in the first couple of corners, and the bike felt good. The tyres came right in and I was committed to trying to go with that front group, but I didn't get it stopped in time going into Turn 1 on lap 2. I thought I had it saved, but the front pushed on the dirty part of the track and I had to go into the gravel. I was dead last, but my rhythm wasn't bad as I tried to bring back some guys. It's a shame. It's easy to say now, but I think without that mistake, I could have done a really good race for the team and myself. The crowd was as good as I've ever seen it, and it was special to be here on a Ducati. We've got a lot of things going in the right way—a lot of support and guys working hard—and in the long run, I've got to believe that will pay off."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"We made a significant change to the setup of Valentino's bike in this morning's warm-up, and it helped us to be faster, but he didn't have a good start in the race. There was a problem with the clutch, and he was left behind. He made a nice charge, but it took him thirteen laps to recover and get behind the group that he battled with. He had a good pace after that, close to that of Spies and Simoncelli. It was a similar story for Nicky. We found a decent setup for his bike, with the new frame, and he was fast in this morning's warm-up. Unlike Vale, he had a good start, but starting the second lap, the bike didn't slow enough on the brakes. He had to brake on the dirty part of the track and went into the gravel. He rejoined the race in last place, which is really a shame, because he rode well. We know it's still not enough, and we have to keep improving the bike, but we worked well with both riders this weekend and made progress on the setup that we think will be helpful in the near future. We'll try to verify that at the Sachsenring.
GUINTOLI AND IANNONE AT MUGELLO WITH PRAMAC RACING TEAM FOR TOMORROW'S TEST
The Pramac Racing Team will stay at Mugello tomorrow to test the Desmosedici for the upcoming MotoGP rounds. Although Loris Capirossi will miss the test due to injury, Randy De Puniet will be joined by compatriot Sylvain Guintoli, who rode for the Pramac Racing Team in 2009. The two Frenchmen will take to the track in the morning. In the afternoon, Andrea Iannone will ride a MotoGP bike for the first time, as he gets an opportunity to familiarize himself with the world championship's premier class.
Paolo Campinoti - Pramac Racing Team Principal
"I'm sorry that Loris wasn't able to be with us this weekend at Mugello. Sylvain Guintoli, an old acquaintance of the Pramac Racing Team, will take his place tomorrow. The test will help Sylvain in case Capirex isn't recovered in time to race at the Sachsenring or Laguna Seca, but we're hopeful that Loris will return soon. We're also pleased to welcome Andrea Iannone, who will test our bike in order to get used to the MotoGP class."