Nicky Hayden continued to make gradual improvements to both machine set-up and overall classification today as he posted the eighth fastest time in qualifying practice for tomorrow’s Czech Republic Grand Prix. The American held on to a third row spot – his second best grid position of the season – despite an intense finale to the session, which saw his stand-in team-mate Mika Kallio secure tenth place for his Ducati Marlboro Team debut despite a late crash while he was pushing for a even faster lap.
NICKY HAYDEN Speaks… (Ducati Marlboro Team) (8th; 1’57.803)
Stoner has been plagued by severe fatigue since early June. Pramac Racing Team rider Mika Kallio will replace Stoner, while Ducati World Superbike rider Michel Fabrizio is taking Kallio’s place at Pramac …
Mika Kallio Speaks… (talking about replacing the ill Casey Stoner for the next three races!)
"When I took the call, I could hardly believe it. But then I talked to my manager, and I realized it was true."
The 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship participants arrived at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany on Thursday, ahead of the ninth race weekend of the year, with the premier class riders returning to Europe after their visit to California less than two weeks ago.
In the official Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland press conference World Champion and standings leader Valentino Rossi was the first man to speak, as he, Dani Pedrosa, Chris Vermeulen, Nicky Hayden and Mika Kallio evaluated their 2009 experiences to date and offered their views on riding at the German venue.
The Ducati Marlboro Team had a mixed weekend at Assen, with some positive results balanced out by a few difficulties. The steps forward in the bike’s performance were a definite positive, and that allowed Casey Stoner to take yet another podium finish despite suffering physically once more during the race.
MotoGP facts & figures
>> Valentino Rossi has won at the Dutch TT in all three classes, the 125cc class in 1997, the 250cc in 1998 and the MotoGP in 2002, 2004, 2005 and in 2007 after qualifying down in 11th on the grid. Last year he finished 11th after crashing on the first lap and re-starting at the tail of the field.
• With just 2.021 seconds separating Mika Kallio in 17th place on the grid and Jorge Lorenzo on pole, this is the closest MotoGP grid since the US GP in 2007.
• Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the 6th time in the MotoGP class. On the previous five occasions he has started from pole he has won just once – in Portugal last year.
• Casey Stoner has maintained his record of qualifying on the front row at every race in 2009. Mugello is one of just 5 circuits on the 2009 calendar where he has not had a win.
Mika Kallio blamed his second MotoGP DNF on Nicky Hayden at the weekend, whereas the American says it was him who had the bad luck when Kallio slipped and touched him.
Following his good results in Qatar and Japan, followed up by his technical problems at Jerez, Mika Kallio’s learning process in MotoGP continued on Sunday when he crashed out at Le Mans.
Andrea Dovizioso had considerable success in the smaller classes at the Le Mans circuit, twice finishing on the podium in the 125cc class including a win in 2004 and also finishing on the podium three times in the 250cc class. Last year he finished 6th after dropping down to 14th early in the race after a clash with James Toseland.
Le Mans is one of Colin Edwards’ more successful circuits having twice finished on the podium – in 2005 and 2008; one of just two podium finishes he achieved last year.
2009 MotoGP World Championship.
Brembo has been a leading name in motorsport for over 30 years, and with the 2009 MotoGP season just under way, the company renews its commitment once again to this elite competition as an established supplier of braking systems to the top teams. Ceaseless innovation. Research on increasingly hi-tech, high-performance solutions and materials. Brake discs and friction materials of the latest generation…these are just some of the elements that ranks Brembo as the undisputed leader in international competition.
KTM Racing announces a unique opportunity all those who would like to acquire a piece of KTM’s successful 2008 racing season and share in a part of motor racing history.
KTM Racing is now offering a small selection of its street and offroad factory bikes available for purchase for the very first time. This offer of Collectors Edition KTM machines represents a rare opportunity for all motor sports enthusiasts and fans to own a unique, custom-made racing motorcycle.