When the Ducati Team gets to Brno this weekend for Round 11 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship, both pilots – Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden – will be ready to attack the second half of the season after a much-needed three-week break.
Although the first half of the MotoGP Championship has been anything but kind to Rossi, the nine-time World Champion enters Brno with much advantage. The Italian Rossi has four podiums and seven wins across all classes at Brno, and it’s in the Czech Republic where Rossi earned his first pole and first win of his MotoGP career.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: “After Laguna I took a few days of vacation, at the beach close to home. It was a short break but enough to recharge the batteries following an intense period. Now we’ll spend a nice mid-August at Brno-classic! Seriously, I’m always happy to go there.
“I like the track not only because it’s very nice, wide and fast, and I’ve always gone well there, but also because it’s a special place for me since it’s where I earned my first pole, my first win and my first world championship. During both the race weekend and the Monday test, we’ll continue concentrating on the bike’s setup, with the goal of reducing the gap to the lead group.”
Rossi’s MotoGP teammate Nicky Hayden has one podium at Brno. The Kentuckian didn’t take much time off, though; Hayden was at the refurbished Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, testing the circuit aboard a Ducati 1198 SP.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: “It’s been a bit of a break, but fortunately not all of it was away from bikes! On August 5 I had an opportunity to ride a Ducati 1198 SP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the entire infield section has been resurfaced, from Turn 5 to 16, in order to eliminate the bumps that used to limit our line options. Indy was already a great track, but now it’s safer and even more fun.
“A big thanks to Ducati North America and IMS for all the hard work to make the test possible. I’m ready to get to Brno now. It’s a very different circuit to what we’ve been to for the last two races at the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca. Those are tight with short lap times, and Brno is definitely a big, open track. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ve just got to keep chipping away.
“It’s clear that everybody at Ducati is doing the maximum, so we’ll go there and try to get a good result. Obviously the test on Monday will be really important for us. I’ll probably just ride the GP11 on the race weekend and then test the new bike on Monday.”
Following Brno MotoGP, Rossi and Hayden will remain in the Czech Republic for further testing on Monday.