Today was a day of excitement at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where the second round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship was held. Starting from tenth place on the grid, Andrea Dovizioso administered the 21 laps in a masterly way to conclude the Texan race in third place, his best result since he joined the Italian manufacturer. The last time a Ducati rider stepped onto the podium was in September 2012.
His team-mate Cal Crutchlow’s day was on the other hand more complicated. The British rider started from seventh on the grid, and three laps in was already up to fourth. After feeling a strong vibration in the rear of his Desmosedici GP14, Cal came into the pits to change the rear tyre. Two laps later and his race was over as he had a nasty high-side in Turn 2, crashing down heavily and injuring his right hand.
Taken immediately to the circuit’s medical centre, he was diagnosed as having a dislocated little finger of his right hand, together with some bruising. He will fly to San Diego tomorrow for a specialist visit, but there should be no problems regarding his return to the track at the next round in two weeks’ time, on the brand-new Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd
“I am very pleased with the way I managed the race because in the early laps I didn’t have the right pace. But I kept calm and kept up a constant pace, and this paid off because I didn’t stress the tyres too much. My performance dropped off a bit towards the end but obviously less than the other riders I was fighting with and this allowed me to do the final stages in a good condition. Then I pulled out a small gap over Bradl and Smith, which allowed me to take the chequered flag with an advantage of almost two seconds. I am very pleased with this result for my team. We’ve been working hard for a year and suffering a lot, and we are still not as quick as we would like to be. Getting a result like this at this time of the season is very important, also for all the engineers and mechanics in the racing division back in Bologna, who are working very hard to improve the Desmosedici’s competitiveness.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF
“I was very optimistic, but unfortunately I had a problem with the rear tyre of the bike immediately from lap 1, there were some very big vibrations and it was becoming worse so I thought it was better to pit and change the tyre. Because we were not even at half-distance, the team made the decision to put the soft rear tyre in and I took benefit from that but I was never going to get any points. I remember hitting a bump on the track that upset the bike. It was a fast corner and seemed like it was just going to be a normal crash, but I got caught up with the bike and it ended up highsiding me. I really hit my hand so hard that I dislocated the finger and the swelling of the hand was so bad that I couldn’t see the problem. I’m sorry for the team, but very pleased for Andrea to be on the podium after all the hard work the guys in Ducati Corse have put in over the winter.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“It was a good result for the team, somehow unexpected after yesterday’s qualifying. Andrea did a really great race, riding hard and in a very clever way, to finally take a Ducati back onto the podium. Unfortunately Cal had a problem with vibration at the rear of his bike and he subsequently crashed after stopping in the pits to change the rear tyre. Luckily it seems that the condition of his right hand is not too serious and he should be OK for the next race in Argentina in a couple of weeks’ time. After all the work we’ve been doing over the last few months, today we scored a positive result and so I’d like to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse for their massive commitment on track and back in Bologna.”
The Ducati Team wishes to express its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the Italian racer Emanuele Cassani, who tragically lost his life today in a crash at the Misano Adriatico circuit.