The difficulties encountered by the Ducati Team during free practice yesterday at the Assen circuit continued in today’s qualifying sessions, and riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso will start tomorrow’s Dutch TT from the fourth and fifth rows, respectively.
A strong wet FP3 performance this morning demonstrated that the team has a good rain setup for the Desmosedici GP13, but the issues in the dry meant both riders had to take part in Q1. That session took place in dry conditions, and while Hayden was able to advance through to Q2, Dovizioso was blocked by another rider on his fast lap. Hayden again struggled with a lack of feeling during the dry Q2 session and finished tenth.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:35.908)
“It’s a tough day for me and the team. After we made some changes overnight, the bike felt better in the wet this morning than yesterday, and I was immediately able to go faster. I was hoping those improvements might carry over into the dry, but then in FP4, the bike was still moving a lot, especially on corner entry. The tyres here have a pretty stiff carcass, which isn’t helping us, and I’m really fighting the bike a lot. I barely advanced through to Q2, and my time in that was over a second slower than in qualifying last year, which is too much. I hate to admit it, but I hope for rain tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 15th (1:36.524)
“There’s not much to say: we’re simply not fast, the gap is big, and all of the Ducati riders are really far from the front. Nicky is the fastest among us, and even while riding well, he’s a second and a half back. I didn’t manage to advance into Q2, and I’m sorry for the whole team. Then Barbera came into this already-difficult situation and hindered me during my fast lap, making everything even more complicated. I was pushing and had done a split that was a tenth better when he entered the track in front of me with a new tyre and started to push as well, causing me problems. I know I shouldn’t have gestured at him, but my conscience is clear because I think I’m one of the most respectful riders in the championship. We’re starting from very far back, and it will definitely be a really long and difficult race, but we’ll try our hardest, as always.”
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