Nicky Hayden started the weekend well at the German Grand Prix, posting the sixth-best time in the first day of free practice. The American was quick from the start and then improved his rhythm with every outing.
Valentino Rossi is optimistic about improving upon his twelfth-best time, which was due in part to the effects of a crash in the first forty-five-minute session that forced him to make a quick trip to the mobile clinic to treat a deep abrasion on his right arm and a blow to his chin.
In the afternoon, he was forced to leave his bike at the side of the track after it automatically shut off due to a small pebble that remained stuck from the crash, and he had to finish the session on his second bike.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th (1:22.882)
We had good, stable weather all day for the first time in a long time, which makes testing things quite a bit easier. This morning we had a really good session. I came out of the gate strong like you’re supposed to and stayed in the top five for most of the time. It wasn’t a bad day overall. In both sessions, we went faster with every little change, using the same set of tyres through the whole session. We improved the lap time this afternoon, but it seemed like the improvements were a little bit harder to make. We tried a couple things at the end that felt good but maybe need a little more time and adjustments. We’ll see what we can do overnight and where we are tomorrow.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 12th (1:23.533)
“This morning’s crash caused a hole in my right arm that looks like a little anatomy lesson because you can see ‘inside’ as far as the muscle, but I also took a hit on my shoulder—the right one, which was operated on, and which now hurts a little. It’s nothing too bad, and I wasn’t really affected much today. Let’s hope that’s also true for tomorrow, especially the shoulder. We did lose some time for working on the bike’s setup, also because I got stranded in the second session. It wasn’t due to technical troubles but rather to a small bit of debris that was stuck, causing a precautionary engine shutdown. I think that tomorrow we’ll be able to improve because we’re working on a setting that’s halfway between the Mugello one and the standard one, and we think it will be good for this track. At the moment we’re losing a lot of time in some sections because although the rear of the GP11.1 is much more stable under acceleration, which is important, we still haven’t found a good balance with the front. If we manage to find a compromise, I’ll be able to do much better.”