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Print

Hayden makes Ducati happy

Thursday, 29 November 2012 18:33 by Paolo Gozzi - News

Nicky Hayden - GPOne.comAndrea Dovizioso never made it out of his garage as he continues to suffer with a neck injury, but Ducat still had reason to be happy today thanks to his teammate Nicky Hayden.

In his second day of testing at Jerez, the American rider took his Desmosedici to a best lap of 1'40”090, the fastest time recorded this year by any Ducati rider at the Spanish circuit. During this past spring's GP, Hayden's quickest race lap was a 1'41”363, while he qualified with a 1'40”563.  That same weekend, Valentino Rossi's best race effort was a 1'41”060, while a 1'42”961 was all he could manage in qualifying.

Granted, the race weekend had far from ideal weather conditions, but things weren't perfect today either.  The sun was out, but ambient temperatures peaked at just 11°C, meaning the asphalt only reached 21°C. These temperatures are on the limit for the notoriously hard to warm-up Bridgestone tires, and indeed Hayden crashed late in the afternoon at turn 3, while pushing to improve his lap time.  The American was unhurt in the incident, but he will head home to Kentucky later this evening, his original schedule calling for just two days of testing work.  It should be noted that his best lap time was not set with the evolution chassis on hand for evaluation, but rather the version used for the latter portion of the 2012 season.

And Ducati will continue testing tomorrow, with Andrea Iannone and Michel Pirro carrying on the work.  With the aforementioned Dovizioso sidelined because of a neck strain incurred during the Monza rally, and re-aggravated after just 3 laps of riding yesterday, Iannone took the opportunity to improve his best effort to a 1'40”989, covering an impressive 72 laps on the day, while Pirro was roughly three tenths slower.

On the WSBK front, with Aprilia and Kawasaki out of the way, it was Marco Melandri setting the pace on his BMW. The former 250cc world champion managed a best lap of 1'40”816 on the SC0 tire, the softest of the race compounds. BMW are experimenting with 48 mm front forks from Ohlins, handed down form MotoGP, after the German team used 42 mm units last season.  They are also trying different weight distributions to generate more front end feel, party to blame for Melandri's raft of crashes late in the season.

Jerez Thursday Test Results:

MotoGP: 1.Hayden (Usa-Ducati) 1'40”090 (61); 2. Iannone (Ita-Ducati) 1'40”989 (72); 3. Pirro (Ita-Ducati) 1'41”265 (66); 4. Aoyama (Gia-BQR) 1'41”975 (57); 5. Barbera (Spa-BQR) 1'42”507

WSBK: 1.Melandri (Ita-Bmw) 1'40”816 (50); 2.Checa (Spa-Ducati) 1'41”840 (58); 3. Davies (Gb-Bmw) 1'42”716 (70); 4. Badovini (Ita-Ducati) 1'44”529 (64)

STK: 1. Neukirchner (Ger-Ducati) 1'44”426 (56); 2. Canepa (Ita-Ducati) 1'45”256 (28); 3. La Marra (Ita-Ducati) 1'45”526 (57)

 

Translation by Sean Sedacca