Round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship got underway today at the Sachsenring circuit in the former East Germany, with the first two sessions of free practice action. On the German track, one of the shortest and slowest on the calendar, Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow set ninth and thirteenth quickest times respectively.
Dovizioso worked well with his team crew today and the Italian already has quite a clear idea regarding the choice of race tyre for this track, even though the weather has to be factored into consideration, seeing as there is a slight chance of rain on Sunday.
Team-mate Crutchlow, who was just two-tenths of a second away from Andrea’s time, was a bit more cautious in his approach. The rider from Coventry has not yet been able to find an optimal set-up to tackle the German weekend, and in addition is also suffering with a back problem, which should however not affect his performance in the race.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 9th (1’22.576)
“We did a good session, working both with the hard and the soft tyre. For us it’s quite difficult to use the hard tyre because we struggle to get the bike to turn, and we have to spend a lot of time in lean angle where we don’t have much grip. The soft tyre on the other hand gives us the possibility to manage the bike better and in fact we were able to constantly set some good times towards the end of the session. In my opinion we are in line with the times that we expected and quite close to the front, and so the session was positive for this reason. For sure we still have to improve because for us lapping in these times is quite tiring.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 13th (1’22.757)
“As was to be expected today, the Ducati bikes seem to be struggling with understeer, but we are trying hard to resolve the problem. Today me and the guys tried a few different settings but they didn’t give the results we hoped for. We’ll check the data tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow. My main concern at the moment is that I probably have a trapped nerve in the bottom of my back. I woke up this morning with a pain, I’m unable to walk very well, but on the bike actually it’s not so bad and is of little hindrance.”