Here’s what the rest of the field had to say after the Mugello race, where we expected Marco Simoncelli to be higher up on the finishing grid, Valentino Rossi lower down after qualifying 12th and Dani Pedrosa shouldn’t say he’s never finished a race after returning from injury because statistically it’s not true, unless someone at Honda Repsol press department mixed up the translation.
Marco Simoncelli – 5th“It was a very tough race because it was really hot and the track conditions were new to us so I didn’t have the same feeling as in practice.
The front three were able to set a slightly faster pace, I was able to hang on for six or seven laps but after that I lost touch.
I tried to fight off Spies at the end but he was faster than me through the final corner and managed to take the inside line to pass me.
Anyway, I am happy because it was a hot and long race.
It was a positive weekend overall because the most important thing for us was to finish the race.
The strange thing is that when the racing is close at the front and there is only nine seconds covering the top five I seem to stay upright but when they are more strung out and I have the opportunity to make positions up I have some kind of disaster!” Valentino Rossi – 6th“We have a bike that is different 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 improvement just with setup.
The weather didn’t help us at Assen, and the same was true here.
We had limited 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 improved 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 positive, but it’s still quite large, about eight tenths.
We have to keep working in order 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 always provides a big thrill and gives us motivation to return to the front.
” Hector Barbera – 7th“Maybe it wasn’t so in terms of the actual result, but in terms of performance and satisfaction, this was my best race in MotoGP.
I rode strongly and worked hard all race to keep my pace up.
We came here off the back of two bad races and today we had a bit of luck for once.
We tested out a lot of things and this helped us to turn our situation around for this race.
The start of the weekend was when we had some problems that we were unable to resolve, but the team worked their hardest once again and took us out of these tough circumstances.
The key to our improvement was taking a step back and returning to some settings that we already knew well.
The Ducati is a very sensitive bike, so from now on we won’t be trying any radical changes and will keep on a solid path.
I had a good fight with Valentino but in the end I wasn’t going to risk things too much.
The aim was to enjoy the race and finish it, and we did this with flying colours.
”Dani Pedrosa – 8th“I’m very happy with my performance and the result was worth it in the end, even if I’m still far from 100% fit.
Historically in the past, when I have tried to go back racing after an injury I wasn’t able to finish the race and today I managed to.
I see that even being out for a quite a long period of time, I haven’t lost the speed, so I’m sure that I’ll back on top when my physical condition improves.
At the start of the race, I had a problem with the clutch and Icouldn’t operate the gears for a lap and a half, so I lost everything in this moment.
I lost many places and when the clutch started working again I tried to get into rhythm and find my pace, even though I was very tired very soon.
I was improving step by step and caught the group ahead consisting of Valentino (Rossi), (Hector) Barberá and (Alvaro) Bautista.
However, by that time I already had no energy to push any harder.
I am extremely tired now, I gave everything I had and to take eighth position and eight points in my conditions, together with this clutch problem is quite a good result in my view.
I’m satisfied with my race pace, I didn’t think I would be able to lap in the high 1’49’s, low 1’50’s during the twenty three laps, so I’m happy about this.
Congratulations to Jorge (Lorenzo) for his good race and many thanks to my fans and doctors for helping me to be back.
”Colin Edwards – 9th “That was a pretty tough race.
Basically we made the wrong rear tyre choice but it was so hard to decide which one was g oing to the better option.
I’d been fast on both options but I felt like there was an advantage with the softer compound.
It seemed easier to do the lap times that I needed to do to get away with the guys at the start.
But I changed my mind a few times because we’d not had the afternoon sessions on Friday or Saturday because of the rain, so we didn’t know how the tyre would react in the really hot conditions.
With the track temperature much higher I just never had the grip I expected at the beginning.
It never changed from the first lap to the last.
There was no drop in performance, but it never really had the grip I wanted at the beginning.
At the end of the day we made a bad call and sometimes it doesn’t work out.
To come out of a difficult race with a top ten is still a half decent result, so we move on now and hope for a better race in Germany.
”Nicky Hayden – 10th“We used a different spring combination in the clutch, and I got probably my best start of the year.
I was up to fifth in the first couple of corners, and the bike felt good.
The tyres came right in and I was committed to trying to go with that front group, but I didn’t get it stopped in time going into Turn 1 on lap 2.
I thought I had it saved, but the front pushed on the dirty part of the track and I had to go into the gravel.
I was dead last, but my rhythm wasn’t bad as I tried to bring back some guys.
It’s a shame.
It’s easy to say now, but I think without that mistake, I could have done a really good race for the team and myself.
The crowd was as good as I’ve ever seen it, and it was special to be here on a Ducati.
We’ve got a lot of things going in the right way?a lot of support and guys working hard and in the long run, I’ve got to believe that will pay off.
” Hiroshi Aoyama – 11th“Unfortunately this weekend was a tough one for me because I am still struggling with the injuries from Assen.
My starting position wasn’t good and that made the first half of the race more difficult but I managed to pick my pace up in the second half.
Tomorrow we have a day of testing and I hope we can find something that improves my feeling with the bike compared to today.
”Karel Abraham – 12th“The biggest problem was the high temperature.
I can’t be satisfied with the result of this race.
I made a good start but then I wasn’t able to keep the ideal line in the first corner and I lost some positions.
Set-up of the motorcycle wasn’t ideal and the tyres were quite slippery.
I am sorry that I wasn’t able to keep pace with the riders ahead of me.
” Alvaro Bautista – 13th“It was always going to be a difficult race today because we were starting from the back of the grid and that is never easy.
I made a good start and had a couple of strong laps to get up to sixth position.
I tried to push to get to the group at the front because they were still close, but I was already starting to have a bit of trouble with the grip from the front of the bike.
I nearly crashed two of three times on several corners and my elbow touched down and saved me once! I tried hard to keep my position in the group and my overall feeling was good, even though I couldn’t enter the corners exactly as I wanted to.
To finish the race in sixth or seventh today was certainly possible, but as I entered turn 12 I lost the front completely.
I went into neutral and went off the track and lost a lot of positions.
I am happy with the first part of the race, but disappointed for the last part, because as I said before sixth or seventh was there for us today.
We have to remain positive though and to keep heading in the right direction and improve over the next races.
”Randy de Puniet – 14thI think there is little to say today.
Yet another bad race, although this time I managed to cross the finish line.
I found several problems, especially when cornering and braking.
I couldn’t go fast because when I tried to accelerate, I lost the front.
I could go faster than the group that I had ahead of me, but I wasn’t able to pass anyone.
The rear tire is virtually destroyed.
I’m disappointed, and I need to get some positive results this season.
”Toni Elias – 15th“Yesterday I was the last one after the practice, thus I thought I could have risked with a different front setting for the race.
But it was a wrong decision and during the race I have paid for that.
Even today I took another excitingstart from the last row but in the second lap I immediately felt that the front was unstable.
I made a big effort to finish the race but obviously this is result is very frustrating for me and the team.
”Cal Crutchlow – DNF “Right from the first lap I didn’t have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide.
I just didn’t want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits.
I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I’d reached my limit.
I am sorry for the Team because we have all worked incredibly hard and now I am determined to put this race behind me and focus on having a strong weekend at the next race in Germany, which I’m looking forward to.