News 24 Oct 2009

MotoGP: Stoner and Hayden on second row for Ducati at Sepang


Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from the second and third rows of the grid respectively tomorrow after a hard-fought qualifying practice at Sepang.

Stoner was disappointed to qualify fourth fastest after dominating the early stages of the session, only to suffer some set up problem in the final half hour that prevented him from challenging for pole position. His best time of 2’01.455 came on just his seventh lap of eighteen, when he was riding the hardest compound on tyres which had, respectively 25 laps on the front and 14 on the rear, whilst by comparison the eventual pole time came from Valentino Rossi on his twentieth lap.

Hayden, on the other hand, was satisfied with seventh place on the grid despite lapping just 0.062 seconds shy of a second row start in sixth spot.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) (4th; 2’01.455)
“I’m really disappointed with that session because I know we could and should have been fighting for pole position. I had a much better feeling with the setting at the start of the session but midway through we went to change tyres and after that we suffered from a huge vibration in the bike. We still haven’t worked out what it is yet so we need to figure it out and fix it for tomorrow. I tried the softer compound but the chattering was even worse. I swapped to my other bike but we had a different setting in it that I hadn’t tried and I didn’t feel comfortable. Everything that could go wrong in the crucial second part of the session did go wrong but if we can fix this problem then we’ll be in good shape for tomorrow. Anyway I’m happy with my pace in race conditions and I look forward to tomorrow”

NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) (7th; 2’01.980)
“I didn’t actually make as big a step this afternoon as I had hoped from the morning session. On race tyres in the hotter temperature it was certainly tough and I was struggling a little bit. We had a couple of problems during the session but in the end I was able to find one good lap to get me into a respectable grid position, very close to the second row. I’m not too happy with my race pace – we’re missing a few tenths and we have some work to do tonight to try and find where we can make them up. I’m never really happy with seventh place but to be honest today it was a pleasant surprise because it could have been much worse off than that if we were just a few tenths slower. We’ve got a big job to do tomorrow. 22 laps around here when your race pace isn’t perfect is certainly not easy but that’s what we train for. Hopefully we can improve in the warm-up, get a good start and we’ll see what we got for them. ”