In a Catalan Grand Prix that was marked by sweltering, slippery conditions that contributed to no fewer than ten riders failing to finish and several others taking off-track excursions, Ducati Team racer Andrea Dovizioso was forced to ride in defence mode on his way to seventh place aboard his Desmosedici GP13. Teammate Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, experienced a premature end to what had otherwise been a promising weekend, as he crashed out on the sixth lap.
Having started from the ninth slot on the grid, Dovizioso was mired in the pack early on, and although he had some nice battles with Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith, his bike lost grip as the race went on, forcing him to settle for seventh place. His American teammate lost a few positions just off the start but rode well as he made the passes to regain his fifth-place starting position. Unfortunately, a lap-six mistake on corner entry resulted in a race-ending fall.
The Ducati Team will remain in Barcelona tomorrow for the post-race IRTA test.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 7th
“We knew it was going to be difficult on this track, due to the layout and the bike’s pumping, but it was worse than we thought. I really didn’t think I’d do such slow lap times, but with the heat, the performance became worse and worse every lap as we lost grip. It’s just more confirmation that we’re still a long way back, and that we have a lot more work to do.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, NC
“It’s such a disappointment because until the crash, it had been my best weekend of the year so far. I got a pretty good jump on the start, but some guys overtook me going to turn one. I had to make a few passes, but once I got into fifth I thought I had the grip to do a solid race. Unfortunately, I went into a corner a bit deep, stayed on the brake too long, and went down. It was my fault, especially with the track being so hot and greasy, and I apologize to the team because they had given me a bike that was working pretty well. There’s nothing to do but take it on the chin and try to shake it off.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a weekend to forget, with a crash for Nicky, who until then had enjoyed a fairly good feeling with the bike and shown good results in practice and qualifying. It was a big disappointment when he crashed in the same corner where many other riders went down. As for Dovizioso, he had a solid race until mid-distance, but he suffered a tremendous loss of grip, with blistering on the rear tyre. We didn’t expect too much from Catalunya, as it hasn’t been our best track in the recent past, but we certainly wish we had done better. We’re looking forward to the IRTA test tomorrow, when we’ll try some new things and see if they’ll help us improve on a track that’s so tough for our bike.”