Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) powered to an encouraging fifth place with his Desmosedici GP14 on the first day of free practice at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Andalusia. Towards the end of the afternoon session the Italian put on a super-soft tyre and went on to set his quickest time of the day in 1m40.028s, a few tenths away from the top slot.
Cal Crutchlow spent much of the day settling back in again on his Desmosedici GP14. This morning the British rider returned to the track for the first time since his crash at Austin, in which he injured his right hand. Still suffering a bit from the pain, Crutchlow didn’t focus too much on setting a quick time and at the end of the day dispelled any doubts about his participation in the race.
After replacing Crutchlow at Termas de Rio Hondo, Michele Pirro, who is racing as a ‘wild-card’ at Jerez, managed to find a good feeling with his usual Ducati Test Team GP14 machine. The Italian hopes to continue positively tomorrow his testing work.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (1m40.028s)
“Today we didn’t go at all bad! We wanted to try the hard front tyre but once again we were unable to use it well, and for this reason at the start we weren’t very quick. Towards the end of the session we put on a medium front, the one that in my opinion most of us will use, and the bike improved considerably. Then we fitted the extra-soft rear right at the end of the session and I set my quick time. Here it’s important to be in the top 10, but it’s more important that the 33 (the medium tyre) works, even though in my opinion it’s too soft.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 18th (1m41.353s)
“I think that went as we expected today. The position doesn’t really reflect where we should be but I’m just happy to be back riding this weekend with the team. We never used the soft tyre like maybe a lot of riders in front of me did. Today was about getting back some feeling with the bike, because I’m feeling a bit rusty. My hand is sore changing direction but braking doesn’t seem so bad at the moment. I’m optimistic again about riding tomorrow and I think we can take some information from today and build on it for practice and qualifying.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 14th (1m40.924s)
“All things considered today was quite positive because I’m trying to get back up to speed again with my bike. I’m quite happy because I’m enjoying myself more than in Argentina! I didn’t manage to improve with the soft tyre, I’m a bit disappointed about that because for sure I could have taken three or four tenths off the time. We’re working hard and we’ll try and make a further improvement tomorrow.”