Not even Nicky Hayden’s 7th place finish could save the Ducati’s factory works team honour today at Phillip Island a track where the Ducati has always gone well.
Not only did Hayden finish behind Pramac’s Randy de Puniet because he decided to pit when it began raining, team mate Valentino Rossi crashed out on lap 14 after passing Alvaro Bautista and doesn’t know why.
Italian fans are still up in arms and demanding that Ducati ‘divorce’ from Rossi and that one of SportMediaset’s post race show commentators be fired as well for calling the Desmosedici a shitty bike (which Rossi laughed at).
Rossi revealed that he doesn’t know why he crashed and his data technician is also at odds to explain the crash.
The Italian however stated in the post race interview that he’s only riding the front of GP11.
2 at 70 to 80% because he doesn’t trust it and he’s right not to trust the bike, because he’s never crashed so many times in a season and every time he begins to believe in his bike, the front gives out without any warning.
Nicky Hayden – 7th“Conditions were really tough today, with wind and rain off-and-on at different parts of the track.
My start actually wasn’t amazing, but I think everybody else got away worse than I did.
I was in a good position, but I really had no grip at the rear from the very beginning, and although I tried as hard as I could, I couldn’t defend much when guys started coming past.
Eventually I blistered the rear tyre and was just trying to make it to the finish, and then when it started to rain harder, it felt really slick.
I just about lost it, and when I saw Bautista go down, I decided to come in and change bikes rather than risk doing the same.
It’s another seventh place, but I was closer to the front than I’ve been in most races.
I felt good apart from a few places, like Turn 6, and the bike was fast.
We’ll try to base our future work on those positives.
” Valentino Rossi – DNF“The crash was really a shame because I could have finished fifth.
After a pretty good start, I lost some ground to Nicky and Bautista, but then I found my rhythm and managed to get them both.
Unfortunately, I lost the front when I passed Alvaro, and I’m really disappointed because I didn’t expect it.
Evidently, despite all our hard work, we still haven’t solved this problem.
Anyway, both in Japan and here, we could have collected some good points, and instead we leave with none.
That said, we’re still working, and we’ll have a number of important things to try in the next tests.