Valentino Rossi limped to 13th position in today’s qualifying session at Phillip Island for tomorrow’s Australian MotoGP. Ducati has a rich history of victory at Phillip Island in recent years, with Casey Stoner winning the last four races in Australia for Ducati, but Rossi struggled to find pace and was even out qualified by both Pramac Ducati bikes.
Nicky Hayden found himself at the other end of the grid and finished in 6th position – his best qualifying result of the year.
Both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden discuss Phillip Island qualifying below:
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th (1’30.792)
“This was my first time on the second row this year, and for a while today, I thought I could do even better. It’s good, but we’re not celebrating sixth place since we expect a lot when we come to Phillip Island. The main thing for tomorrow will be to figure out how to get the tyres to last over race distance, and I’m having to use some strange lines to miss all the bumps. I lost a bit of time when one front tyre didn’t come in, but other than that, I’ve got no excuses. I had good, clear laps, and I went about as fast as I could. Tomorrow will be my 150th Grand Prix in the premier class, and I’m proud to be here that long and still be on a factory team. With this grid position, it would be nice to get our best dry result tomorrow. It will be very tough because a lot of guys are going quick, but we’ll try.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 13th (1’31.980)
“Before we arrived here, we expected to do much better than this, considering that Phillip Island is a track where Ducati and I have always done well. Instead, I again had trouble riding today, and I was very slow. It’s really a shame, and I’m very sorry. Evidently we haven’t managed to solve the problems we’ve had since the first session here. We’ll try to make some small changes in tomorrow’s warm-up, but although we’ll certainly try to do better than this, I’m expecting a very challenging race.”
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