The Ducati Team faced an uphill battle today in the Dutch TT, as Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden struggled with a lack of traction on their way to tenth- and eleventh-place finishes, respectively.
Although the teammates started one row apart, the usual shuffle of the early going had them riding nose-to-tail by lap two. For most of the race, Hayden and Dovizioso occupied ninth and tenth places, but a last-turn tussle between the two Ducati Team riders resulted in them trading spots and Bradley Smith passing them both before the finish line.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Dovizioso and Hayden will be at Misano for a test aimed at finding solutions for improving the competitiveness of the Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 10th
“Considering the expectations, the race didn’t go so badly. I followed Nicky for the entire race, and I rode really hard; it was so tough to do that pace here. The gap is still big, but compared to our gap in practice, we weren’t as far back on lap times. We pushed hard for the whole race, taking risks to try and catch Espargaro and Bautista. We were able to do it, but unfortunately we were really at the limit and weren’t able to battle with them. In the last chicane, I made a pass on Nicky that was on the limit, but I don’t think it was dirty. That chicane is famous for that, but unfortunately our battle on the brakes made us slow on the exit, and Smith passed us on acceleration. It’s a shame, but it just shows our difficult situation. Let’s say we limited the damage somewhat today.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 11th
“It’s been a very hard weekend, right from the beginning. There wasn’t much grip here, which certainly didn’t help us. We tried hard to make the bike better, but we couldn’t ever really get it working. It was quite difficult in the race, especially in change of direction. The bike was moving a lot, and I was pushing the front in a couple of the fast corners. I was really at the limit, and every time I tried to push a little harder to close the gap, I’d run a bit wide or lose the front. On the last lap, I didn’t get a good run through turn 15 and Dovi came up the inside and pushed us both wide, so Smith beat us both to the line. It was a racing move, and anyway, the real problem is we got beat by 33 seconds, which shows how far behind we are.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“It’s not easy to talk about a race like today’s. We knew that Assen was a circuit that didn’t favour the characteristics of our bike, but today’s result is obviously very disappointing. We realized right from the start of Thursday practice that it would be a difficult weekend, and unfortunately, despite our technicians’ hard work and our riders’ best efforts, we weren’t able to improve the situation. Next week we’ll be at Misano with our test riders and our team riders. We’re expecting three days of hard work to find solutions to make our bike more competitive.”