Nicky Hayden recorded his second best result of the season so far at Brno today, where he crossed the line in sixth place following a weekend of hard work and continual progress with his team. The American didn’t get the best of starts and was boxed in by the group around him but he fought back to regain positions and kept pace with the riders ahead of him to take the chequered flag less than four seconds behind the final podium finisher.
Mika Kallio, making his debut for the Ducati Marlboro Team in place of Casey Stoner, produced a competitive pace but was unable to make it to the end of his first race with the team following a misunderstanding with Marco Melandri, the two riders colliding and crashing out of their battle for eighth place. However, it was a satisfying weekend for the Finn, a rookie in the MotoGP class, who has set competitive lap times all weekend.
NICKY HAYDEN Speaks… (Ducati Marlboro Team) (6th)
"We have higher goals than this but sixth place is my second best result of the season so I have to be satisfied for today. After the disaster at Donington this has been a respectable weekend for us. The team did a great job all weekend getting the front working better for me so we’ve made progress and that is the most important thing. The race certainly wasn’t easy – I lost a couple of positions off the line but had a good first lap and was able to get into that second group. To be honest from that point I was holding on, going as fast as I had all weekend and when we got up behind Colin I was able to make another pass. I could see the group ahead of me and as they made a couple of mistakes I could have maybe got there. I just pushed too hard and ran wide in a couple of places and had to do my best to hold my position. They were breathing all over me during those last couple of laps but I hung on and got sixth. We were only less than four seconds off the podium so we’re obviously making some headway. I want to thank the team because it’s not been an easy time recently but today we have something to be proud of."
MIKA KALLIO Speaks… (Ducati Marlboro Team) (crashed)
"My start was typical of this year – not good but not bad – and I pretty much held my grid position into the first turn. After that the bike was similar to how it’s been all weekend – there is still something missing with the front feeling and even though I could stay with the second group I couldn’t pass anybody because I don’t have that front-end confidence you need to brake late or take a more risky line. The proof of that was when De Angelis had his problem and slowed down, I was able to pass him and improve my lap times by half a second to catch Nicky and Edwards. Then came the crash with Melandri, who tried to pass me where it was impossible to, so that finally our lines crossed! Anyway, it has been an interesting weekend and I think if we can find something that gives me more feel with the front we can make a big step forward."
LIVIO SUPPO Speaks… (MotoGP Project Director)
"We knew it would be more difficult for us without Casey but all in all I think it has been a reasonably satisfying weekend for us. Both Hayden and Kallio were able to maintain a decent pace throughout the race, which allowed Nicky to finish just a few seconds off the podium and Mika wasn’t far behind him until the crash on the penultimate lap. We have a day of testing tomorrow that will be useful to continue our set-up work with the GP9."
Podium Czech GP 2009
1st Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), 2nd Dani Pedrosa (Honda), 3rd Toni Elias (Honda)
Fastest lap: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’56.670 – 166.716 Km/h
Circuit Record: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’56.670 – 166.716 Km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-2009), 1’56.145 – 167.469 Km/h
Riders World Championship
1st Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 212 points; 2nd Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 162; 3rd Casey Stoner (Ducati) 150; 4th Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 135; 5th Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 112; … 14th Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 57; 15th Mika Kallio 34.
Constructors World Championship
1st Yamaha (255 points); 2nd Honda (184); 3rd Ducati (166); 4th Suzuki (100); 5th Kawasaki (79)