The first MotoGP qualifying sessions to be held at the Circuit of the Americas took place today in beautiful weather conditions, and Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden put their Desmosedici GP13 machines directly into Q2, reserved for the top ten riders from the free-practice sessions.
In the action-packed, 15-minute Q2 session, Andrea Dovizioso continued his positive weekend trend, and his penultimate lap put him sixth on the time sheets. As happened two weeks ago at round one, his teammate, Nicky Hayden, experienced vibration on his first exit in qualifying, but after pitting, he posted his best time on his final lap. The American will start tomorrow’s race from the tenth spot on the grid.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 6th (2:04.873)
“We’ve been going well the whole weekend, so I’m pleased. The track is really nice, especially because the grip is nearly normal now, which makes riding more fun as well. The gap to the front is pretty big, but it’s sort of like that for many of the riders. The race will be strange because the circuit is new for everyone. The tyres aren’t wearing because they don’t have to ‘work’ hard here, so I doubt that the performance will fall off much. I managed to adapt pretty quickly to this new track, and I’m pushing hard because in some respects I feel good with the Ducati. We know we have limits, but we’re working well. I see optimism on the team, because we want to return to the top.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 10th (2:05.568)
“We made some progress this morning, and I thought we could be a little bit more competitive in Q2 than I was. When I first went out, I had a vibration issue with the rear tyre that was similar to what I had in qualifying in Qatar. I came in and changed tyres, and it went away immediately. Starting tenth here isn’t good. We’ll see how things go tomorrow, especially at turn one, where it will be interesting to see if everyone can get through cleanly on the start. We still have some problems with the front, which hurts your confidence. We also need to improve in the esses, so we’ll try something in the warm-up. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the race.”