On an event-filled day at the GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini, Valentino Rossi had his best race so far aboard the Desmosedici. In sunny and warm conditions, the Italian made it to the second step of the podium, having ridden at a pace that was second only to that of the winner, Jorge Lorenzo. The first start was cancelled, but Rossi enjoyed a great getaway when the red lights went out for the second time, and he exited the first turn in second place. From there, he held off attacks from first Stefan Bradl and then Alvaro Bautista before taking the chequered flag.
His teammate Nicky Hayden rounded out the Ducati Team’s positive day, finishing seventh despite riding with a right hand that was still swollen and painful. Tomorrow he and the team will decide together whether he’ll take part in the Ducati Team test that will take place with Valentino Rossi on the same Misano circuit.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 2nd
“It was a really nice race, and I’m very happy. It’s a great result, which I’d like to dedicate to Sic and his family, Paolo, Rossella, and Martina. I’d also like to thank all the guys who work with me and everyone at Ducati Corse who are giving their best, like me: after two difficult years, we really needed that. I’m very pleased because we did a dry race at a high level, always with a fast pace, and with a limited gap to Lorenzo. We worked well. The new frame and swingarm allow us to make more changes to the geometry, and in fact here the feeling with the front was improved and the bike also seemed to be better balanced on acceleration. The setup that we found was also good, as I managed to be fast and consistent for the whole race. It will be important to continue working well and do our best to take the Ducati as high as possible in the next races as well.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th
“I felt bad enough this morning that we considered not racing, but being here in Italy, I wanted to at least try. This track seems to provide a lot of drama, and I thought if I could just stay clean and get to the finish, I might salvage somewhat of a result. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult. Unless you’ve ever used carbon brakes with a Bridgestone front tyre, you don’t realize how hard you can squeeze the lever on a MotoGP bike now, and a couple of laps, I had to slow down to try to let my hand recover. It wasn’t very strong, and it was really painful, but I was able to hang on and get a seventh today. Hopefully I can start building up for the rest of the season. It’s great to see Vale on the podium, and it’s a well-deserved reward for all the effort by Filippo, his staff, the team, and the factory.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“We’re very happy because we worked well, both two weeks ago in the test and with the bike’s setup over the race weekend, and we managed to put Valentino in a position where he could get a good result. Vale was able to perform to his potential in the dry, and to manage the race well to the finish. We needed confirmation on this new chassis in a confrontation with the other riders, and we got that today. Nicky did the best that he could in his condition. His hand certainly isn’t completely mended, and he had to receive pain-killing injections in order to race. Anyway, it was very important for him to return after four weeks off, and depending on how he feels tomorrow, we’ll see if he’ll be able to ride with Valentino in the test.”