In sunny and hot conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso rode to the fifth and ninth spots on the grid, respectively, for tomorrow’s Catalan Grand Prix.
It was a positive day for Hayden, who was the second-quickest rider in the morning session, then backed it up with his best qualifying session of the year thus far. The American had also set the circuit top-speed record in free practice aboard his Desmosedici GP13, although the mark was subsequently eclipsed by Marc Marquez in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Dovizioso improved his pace from yesterday, but had back luck in qualifying and didn’t manage to put together a good lap. He’ll share tomorrow’s all-Italian third row with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone.
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 5th (1:41.800)
“Dani [Pedrosa] had a spectacular pole lap, but the front row wasn’t out of the question for me today. That would’ve been nice, but this is still my best qualifying position of the year so far. The bike is working pretty well when we have new tyres, but as soon as we lose a little bit of edge grip, it starts pumping. It was okay for qualifying, but we’ll have to try something tomorrow morning to see if we can make the tyre last longer. We know it won’t be an easy race, but hopefully we can put up a good fight and have some fun.”
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 9th (1:42.053)
“It’s a shame about the qualifying session. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a perfect lap, and starting from the third row won’t be easy. That’s too bad because Barcelona is one of the nicest tracks to ride when you have a perfect lap, but I’m mainly disappointed that our spot on the grid will make it difficult for us tomorrow. My first exit was good, and I knew that if I could put all the sectors together, I could lower my time by three or four tenths. Then on my first lap with the second tyre, the bike closed the front in turn four. I almost fell and had to abort the lap in order to save the tyre. We’ve improved a lot from yesterday—more with pace than on a fast lap—but it will certainly be a very difficult race as we’ll all be struggling when the tyres wear. It will be important to make up some positions at the start, as anything can happen in the race.”