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Ducati Team concludes Barcelona post-race test
With this past weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix behind them, the Ducati Team and most of the other MotoGP riders were back in action today for a one-day, IRTA-organized test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The team’s work schedule called for a continuation of the back-to-back comparisons between the bike that Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden have raced thus far, and the ‘laboratory’ version that has only been used in battle by Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro (at Jerez, Mugello, and Barcelona).
Once again, Hayden was more comfortable on the Spanish track, as the American posted the second-best time of the day. His 1:41.955 lap was just five-hundredths off of Jorge Lorenzo, while Dovizioso finished fourth-best on the day with a time of 1:42.417.
VISORDOWN brought you all the action and latest reports from the Spanish MotoGP at Catalunya over the weekend, so we thought we'd balance out editorial integrity with some of the best talent we spotted in the paddock, away from the talent on track.
We've put together a gallery of the finest grid girls and paddock babes from the circuit. There are loads of images of brolly dollys to pit lane glamour models and podium girls.
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi struggled with grip issues on Friday in Spain.
With its long, fast corners, the Montmeló circuit is known for presenting a challenging search for traction, and the high temperatures during the first day of free practice for the Catalan Grand Prix only magnified that characteristic.
The lack of grip prevented both Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi from fully utilizing the bike’s power, and they finished tenth and twelfth, respectively, in the combined times. The Italian worked with an eye on Sunday’s race and used only the hard tire....http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-grip-issues-hinder-hayden-rossi/
In a Catalan Grand Prix that was marked by sweltering, slippery conditions that contributed to no fewer than ten riders failing to finish and several others taking off-track excursions, Ducati Team racer Andrea Dovizioso was forced to ride in defence mode on his way to seventh place aboard his Desmosedici GP13. Teammate Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, experienced a premature end to what had otherwise been a promising weekend, as he crashed out on the sixth lap.
Having started from the ninth slot on the grid, Dovizioso was mired in the pack early on, and although he had some nice battles with Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith, his bike lost grip as the race went on, forcing him to settle for seventh place. His American teammate lost a few positions just off the start but rode well as he made the passes to regain his fifth-place starting position. Unfortunately, a lap-six mistake on corner entry resulted in a race-ending fall.
The Ducati Team will remain in Barcelona tomorrow for the post-race IRTA test.
Vicki Smith for Ducati.net's insight:
Photos Courtesy of Ducati
After finishing on the podium in the last round at Le Mans, Valentino Rossi didn't appear the slightest bit disappointed with his 7th place result in the Catalan GP. Indeed, the Italian declared that it was,"probably my best race of the year in the dry, and it went a little better than the Estoril round. Today I finished close to Bautista, and the group ahead of him wasn't too far away either. If we look at the gaps, both the total gap and the fastest laps, they are the smallest of the season. I rode well here and I didn't make any mistakes. Last year I had finished better than 7th place, but they were also dependent on other riders crashing."
The pair are forced to slow when they lose feeling...
British Moto2 star Scott Redding and Ducati's Nicky Hayden both suffered with a mystery hand numbness during their respective races at Catalunya yesterday.
Redding was involved in the battle for the lead in the early stages of the race, but dropped off the back of the leading group when his right hand went numb and made it difficult for the 19-year-old Briton to brake and open the throttle with any feeling. He dropped back to try and recover feeling in the hand, but no improvement was forthcoming and he was forced to defend tenth place to the finish.
"I got away from the line okay, but then I started having problems with my throttle hand. When I was tucked in on the bike it started to go numb, as if something was pressing on a nerve somewhere. I let a couple of people through so that I could relax a bit and see if it improved, but it just wouldn't go away. It meant I was struggling with feeling, both on the gas and on the brakes, which was losing me time in every corner," said the Briton...more here: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=MotoGP-Catalunya:-Hayden,-Redding-suffer-mystery-hand-numbness&newsid=7184
The Doctor finishes 18s behind Lorenzo; will try new swingarm again tomorrow...
Ducati's Valentino Rossi has hailed his performance in today's Catalan MotoGP round as his best dry performance of the year so far after he finished just 18 seconds behind winner Jorge Lorenzo after 25 laps of the Spanish track.
Rossi has managed to find a setting that has reduced the GP12's inherent understeer but The Doctor is still having to turn in using the rear tyre and, after catching Alvaro Bautista, found he had run out of grip from the soft-compound Bridgestone. He will again test the aluminium swingarm, which he didn't run today, tomorrow along with the current electronics.
"We are quite happy about the result. It is what we expect and at this moment, this is our potential in the dry. The race was not so bad because the distance from the winner is not a lot and especially the distance from Bautista and Crutchlow, I was not very far, so this is the best race of the dry, better than Portugal," said Rossi, speaking to bikesportnews.com this evening.
"It is just a seventh place so we have to work a lot and try to improve things for tomorrow. The electronics are positive, we need some more time for use at 100 per cent. Tomorrow we will try another time the (aluminium) swingarm as I think that can also be a help. The problem remain a little bit the understeer of the bike, the grip on the front...More here: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=MotoGP-Catalunya:-Happy-Rossi-hails-best-dry-race-of-2012&newsid=7180
“I do like the track, and it's one of the calendar's great GPs” - Nicky Hayden.
Nicky Hayden may only have stood on the Catalunya podium once during his nine visits, but that doesn't stop the American admiring one of the MotoGP's 'great' events.
Hayden finished runner-up at Catalunya for Honda during his 2006 title winning season - in a restarted-race following a huge accident involving Ducati team-mates Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau heading into turn on.
Hayden's own three visits as a Ducati rider have yielded a best result of eighth.
“Although I've struggled a bit at Catalunya the last few years, I do like the track, and it's one of the calendar's great GPs,” said Hayden....
American Nicky Hayden is hopeful that an upgraded electronics package will help increase the pace of his Ducati Desmosedici GP12.
Nicky Hayden will use an upgraded electronics package that helps smooth the aggressive power delivery of the Ducati GP12 in Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix.
But he has played down hopes that a new engine specification is an instant answer to some of Ducati's problems. Hayden has also put aside plans to switch to the latest spec swingarm that, along with the engine, was introduced at last week's crucial private test session at Mugello in Italy.
Hayden confirmed the inescapable trend in MotoGP that sophisticated engine management computer programs, not revised internals, are crucial to performance.
"There is a lot to be gained from electronics," Hayden said. "Two of the electronics items we tried at the Mugello test should make the engine a little smoother on the bottom....for more - http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-hayden-passes-on-new-spec-motor/