News 20 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Ducati's Stoner takes fourth after leading German GP


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Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden took fourth and eighth place respectively in the German Grand Prix with combative performances at the Sachsenring circuit in bright sunshine but cool temperatures this afternoon. Stoner launched from the front row of the grid to chase Valentino Rossi before passing the Italian for the lead on lap seven, holding firm at the front until past mid-distance. However, the Australian suffered with front and rear grip in the second half of the race and was forced to yield his position to Rossi, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa also taking advantage to complete the podium.

Starting from his best grid position of the season in fourth place Hayden was the unfortunate filling in a rider sandwich on the entry to the tight turn one, the American being forced wide and losing ten positions. Fresh on the back of his sensational fifth place at Laguna Seca two weeks ago, Hayden again demonstrated his growing affinity with the GP9 as he instantly fought back and battled through the pack to pass six riders and claim another important points haul.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)  (4th)
“I wasn’t too confident at the start of the race because we were losing ground and my feeling with the bike wasn’t great but it quickly improved so we decided to hit the front as soon as possible – if nothing else just to hold everybody up and stay in there with a shout. I started to lose the front end a few times so I decided to back off a bit. That allowed Valentino, Jorge and Dani to come past but then, as the fuel load lightened, the front fell more secure and I was able to pick up the pace again. Dani came up with an unbelievable lap that was about half a second quicker than any of his others. After he passed me I tried to push and stay with him but I actually lost the rear at the bottom of the hill and had to let off the brakes, which almost forced me to run into the gravel. All in all with the way things have been going lately I’m happy with today’s race because it’s the first time in a while I feel I’ve been really involved and I think if it wasn’t for that problem with the rear I may have been able to dig deep and given Valentino Jorge and Dani something to think about at the end. I’m excited about going to Donington now and I want to thank the team for sticking by me over the last few weeks because it hasn’t been fun for any of them.”

NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team)  (8th)
“I knew I needed to get a good start if I was going to do anything special today but I got into turn one hot and everybody came underneath me. To be honest after my crash in warm-up I started the race a little uptight because I didn’t want to wreck another bike or throw away everything we have gained and learned this weekend. It wasn’t the race we were looking for so I’m sorry to the team because the bike was capable of more here, I’ve just made a couple of mistakes this weekend. I don’t want to apologise for trying too hard though because I knew I could do good here. It is hard to be patient when you have a sniff of the front and instead of taking things step by step like we have up to now I pushed my luck and we’ve paid the price. So I’m disappointed with the race but not with the weekend on the whole because we’re up and running now and moving forward.”

LIVIO SUPPO –  Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“It has been a weekend of many facets, some of them positive, some not so much but it has ended positively in my opinion. Casey finished fourth like in the last race but this time he was up front for a long time, he was able to fight harder and above all at the end he felt slightly better than in the last three extremely tough weekends. That is definitely the biggest positive. Nicky finished eighth but had the potential to do better. Unfortunately he crashed in the warm-up this morning and that caused him to lose a little confidence, especially at the start when he lost a lot of ground. But he has proved again that the bike is improving a lot and that gives us high hopes for the rest of the championship.”Heartbreakers on dvd

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