The Australian Grand Prix, which today saw Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo crowned world champions in the Moto2 and MotoGP classes, respectively, proved to be particularly challenging for the Ducati Team and its two riders, who brought home seventh and eighth place points.
Despite working hard along with their respective teams, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden weren’t able to maintain a fast enough race pace to fight with the group of riders whose lap times they had approached over the previous two days.
The Australian race completes the long overseas trip and leaves only the Spanish round in Valencia, which will close out the 2012 season in two weeks.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
“As far as the result is concerned, I think seventh place is probably the best that was possible, whereas the gap could have been better. Nicky was with me the whole race. I was ahead and I pushed, but I was never able to shake him. The bike I crashed with in the warm-up had some small changes that we wanted to try, but honestly, I don’t think I could have done much more. I’m not able to enter the corners fast because whenever I try, I go too wide. I have to brake earlier, try to keep a bit of margin, and then accelerate as soon as possible, but by opening the gas very early, with the bike leaned over, the tyre heats up a lot on the edges. Today it immediately started sliding too much. Complements to Marquez and Lorenzo for their titles, which both of them certainly deserve.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
“It was a really hard weekend. Normally I love Phillip Island, but we did 32.3s in FP1 and haven’t been able to improve grip and turning much since, despite making a lot of changes. I felt a little better in the race and was able to fight with Valentino a little bit. He was faster in the beginning, but once the tyres went away, I could manage, although front-tyre wear hurt me toward the end. I thought I might be able to have a go at him in the last couple of laps, but then I ran wide in turn 11 and he got a break on me. He was going to be tough to beat anyway. It’s frustrating, because I remember battling with Valentino for the win here, and we’ve been on the podium together a few times at this track. Thanks to the team because we really tried everything this weekend.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It was a very challenging weekend for the team and the riders, even if everyone tried their best to find a setup that would work on this track. Today’s crash in the warm-up certainly didn’t help Valentino, but anyway, I don’t think things would have gone much differently. Nicky had a difficult time all weekend. Back home, we’ll have to analyse all the data we’ve gathered and do better at Valencia in the last race.”