Comeback race for Rossi and Hayden at Mugello

Monday, July 4, 2011

Valentino Rossi was left last at the start of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM to find himself in twelth place at the end of the first lap, but aggravated by the enthusiastic crowd, he caught the group of riders in front of him and climbed to sixth place. The Italian had a better pace in the race than he had all weekend, thanks to a setup change that his technicians made previous to the warm-up.

Nicky Hayden had a great launch at the start and at once climbed to fifth place, but he went long in a corner and couldn’t stop on the dirty part of the asphalt. He went off the track and re-entered in last place. He climbed as high as tenth place after that, and even though he was disappointed by the lost opportunity, he was pleased that the work done over the weekend has helped him find a good feeling with his GP11.

Valentino Rossi:

"We have a bike that is dissimilar in many aspects from the one we started the season with. We’re aware that it needs to undergo further development from a technical point of view, but even at this stage it has shown that it has a good margin of enhancement just with setup. The weather didn’t help us at Assen, and the same was true here. We had imperfect time to work this weekend, so once again we made a significant setup change on Sunday morning. It was a step forward, and in the race I was able to have a better rhythm than in practice, although the enhanced behavior in corners was accompanied by a small loss of grip. Anyway, we think it’s a good direction to try in the future with our setup. I lost some time on the start because the clutch slipped, and I was almost last into the first turn, with a lot of ground to make up. It’s a shame because I’ve always managed to do well on the starts with the Ducati this year. Still, I’m not sure how long I would have been able to stay with Spies and Simoncelli even if I had started better. The gap on lap times was less than at Assen, which is optimistic, but it’s still quite large, about eight tenths. We have to keep working in arrange to stay with the Hondas and Yamahas. We’re all doing all we can, both us at the track and the guys at Ducati. It’s certainly a difficult situation, but to come here to Mugello and see all these flags and fans cheering forever provides a big thrill and gives us motivation to return to the front.”

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