Weather conditions were perfect for the debut MotoGP race at Austin, Texas’s Circuit of the Americas, where Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden crossed the finish line in seventh and ninth places, respectively.
The Italian suffered a bad launch off the start before settling into a long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The two traded positions on a couple of occasions, but Dovizioso ultimately made a last-lap, last-corner pass to take seventh place. Hayden meanwhile, after starting from the tenth spot on the grid, made an early pass on Andrea Iannone but never found the proper feeling to advance further aboard his Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 7th
“Obviously, we’re not satisfied with seventh place, but the race time wasn’t bad. I was able to keep a good pace below 2:06, so I’m pleased with my aggression and effort. I managed to be pretty consistent up until the final five or six laps. The last three laps with Bautista were fun—a nice battle! We know we have to work hard, because this is our limit at the moment, but we’re really motivated to improve.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 9th
“It was a tough weekend. The track was great, but I lost some time in the beginning and was struggling with change of direction. I was okay on much of the track, but I never found the confidence in the front end to flick the bike into the corners, which hurt me in the esses. The guys did a good job getting me a better bike for the race, and I don’t really have any excuses. Ninth place isn’t what we wanted here today, so I certainly hope we can sort a few things out and start putting up a better fight than we have in these first two races.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“We certainly had a slight disadvantage, not testing here in March against the other teams, and we realize that against the other factory bikes we can’t keep up over race distance. We made some improvements to several aspects of the bike, but a major issue remains; we can’t hold a line, so we run wide in the corners. That prevents better lap times and adds up at the end, especially on this track, which has a lot of sequential corners. We look forward to Jerez. In the last test there, we saw some potential for improvement, and in addition, we’ll have the support of our test rider, Michele Pirro, who is doing his first wildcard race for us there.”