A deterioration of grip meant that Ducati´s Nicky Hayden could not capitalize on his front row start, ending up in eighth at the Jerez Gran Prix, while Valentino Rossi bettered his grid position to finish ninth.
After a frantic start, Hayden was involved in a back-and-forth battle for third place with Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa. The American then steadily lost ground as grip decreased, eventually finishing eighth. Valentino Rossi, who started from the fifth row, improved his pace as he climbed to ninth place.
One positive, which Ducati has taken from the preceding wet practice sessions, is that their bike is very competitive in the wet, with both riders lapping among the top six throughout.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
"It was fun for a couple of laps. We know our bike is great at generating heat in the tyres, and for the first few laps, I was able do what I wanted. Then about the time it looked like the other guys’ tyres came up to temperature, mine had already started losing grip, especially in the front. I was pushing wide in places and guys started coming past me. We knew it would be tough in the dry. My setup was okay, but to really try to go with those guys wasn’t possible. The bike’s got a lot of potential, but at the moment, the gap to the rest is still too far."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th
"The positive thing from today’s race is that I think it might help us to do a bit better in the coming events, starting next week in Portugal. Today’s setting was very similar to what Nicky has used for a while, though not exactly the same. I must get used to riding the bike a bit differently than I’m used to, and today that caused me to lose some ground in the early laps because I was basically starting blind. I wasn’t going bad once I found my rhythm, in the sense that I was matching the times of those who were fighting for sixth place, and I was able to push until the end, doing a 1:41.0 on the penultimate lap. This helps me to be a little more optimistic as I look ahead to the next races because if I’m able to ride a bit better, it could be a place for us to start from. In fact, we’ll use this setting when we start on Friday."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"Today we wanted to see both Nicky and Vale finish the race closer to the front, but overall, there are several positive things to take from this weekend as we continue our work and our development path for the GP12. We received confirmation that we’re very fast in the wet, and in the dry, we had a good qualifying session with Nicky, who made the first row. Nicky was very competitive in the early laps of the race, and now we must also improve over race distance with him. Vale found qualifying difficult, but in the race, using a setting that he’d never tried, he felt okay and was steadily gaining confidence and going faster. These are signs that show us the direction to follow starting with the next round in a few days in Portugal."