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Nicky Hayden tops Valentino Rossi in FP1 at Qatar

Before heading to Qatar, Valentino Rossi to the Italian press he would start chasing lap times and pushing the Desmosedici to the limit, instead he did the exact opposite in the first free practice at Losail.
The Italian decided to stay with one set of hard tires all through the session and worked on race pace that left him down in 10th and more than 1.

4 seconds from the top of the timesheets, while team mate Nicky Hayden used a soft tire for his final lap that gave him the third spot on the provisional grid and one second faster than Rossi.
Rossi is still using the understeer complaint that worsens when the tires lose their grip and makes cornering more difficult, while Hayden seems much more content of his GP12.

“The first session went well.
This track is a lot different than what we experienced in Jerez, more open and a lot wider,” said Hayden.
“It was quite dirty and not very grippy, which helped us a bit.
We started off on the hard tyre and then switched to the soft for the last exit, and I was able to do a nice lap.

In general we were pretty fast and consistent, and I’ve certainly had worse sessions here, but we’ll just stay calm, keep trying to improve and try to get a good grid spot on Saturday night.
It’s just one session, and there’s a long way to go.
Sunday night is what counts, and it would be nice to get this team a result it deserves.
”“It’s the first practice and I used the hard tyre the whole session, trying to do a lot of laps in order to understand it.
The new tyre is much better for warming up, so good for safety, but it started to slide a lot after some laps and made some of the understeer worse.
We have to work with the setting and also the electronics.
The soft will be important for Saturday, but the hard will be the tyre for the race.
Tomorrow we’ll try to do better, “ said Rossi who put in the most laps during the session and along with Pedrosa the most consecutive number of laps.

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