Ducati to Misano with Rossi & Returning Hayden

2012 Misano MotoGP

This weekend, the 2012 MotoGP Championship heads to San Marino at the “Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli,” the circuit paying tribute to the late Super Sic.

The San Marino Grand Prix will be a treat for Ducati fans for three reasons – it’s the second home race for the manufacturer, it’s a home round for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, and after missing the last two rounds, Nicky Hayden will return.

Hayden suffered a crash during qualifying at his home round in Indianapolis. During the wreck, Hayden sustained a concussion and injury to his right hand. Due to the injuries, he was forced to miss Indy and the following round at Brno.

Hayden will test the strenght and endurance of his right hand during Friday’s practice sessions at the 2.626-mile circuit, and if all is well, he will compete this weekend.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won’t be easy this weekend. My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line. I’ve been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I’ve been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California.

“Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano. Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati’s home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race. We’ve got a couple of things stacked against us, but we’ll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano.”

Rossi, who will return to Yamaha Factory Racing for the 2013/2014 MotoGP Championships, has won twice at Misano since the circuit arrived on the MotoGP schedule in 2007. Last year during his debut year on the Ducati GP12, Rossi finished seventh.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati GP12 MotoGP) says: “Misano is one of two home races for us, so there will be a lot of fans and a very special atmosphere, as is always the case when we race in Italy. The track is challenging and difficult, but I like it a lot. It has some really fun sections, such as the exit from the ‘Tramonto’ corner and the big, fast corners after the back straight. We’ll have to work well in the practice sessions in order to fight and to try and do a nice race.”

Ducati’s team manager also commented on the upcoming round.

Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati Team Manager) says: “At Misano we’ll be back with both of our riders, which is definitely a positive for our home race, where we’ll have a lot of fans. Over the past few weeks, Nicky has undergone rehabilitation while keeping up with his training, and on Friday morning we’ll see how his hand reacts to the stress of riding the bike, especially on braking. It’s Valentino’s home race, and Misano is definitely a special round for him. We’ll work on the setup to try and give him the conditions he needs to ride at a good, consistent pace for the entire race.”

And as usual, the Ducati Team will be supported by Ducati fans in the “Variante del Parco” grandstand, which is situated near near Misano’s first corner.

Ducati MotoGP Team Stats:

Valentino Rossi:

  • Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
  • Race number: 46
  • Age: 33 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
  • Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
  • GPs: 270 (210 x MotoGP, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
  • First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
  • First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
  • First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
  • World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi’s MotoGP track record at Misano
2011: Grid, 11th; Race, 7th
2010: Grid, 4th; Race, 3rd
2009: Grid, 1st; Race, 1st
2008: Grid, 2nd; Race, 1st
2007: Grid, 2nd; Race, DNF

Nicky Hadyen:

  • Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
  • Race number: 69
  • Age: 31 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
  • Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
  • Number of GPs: 161 (161 x MotoGP)
  • First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
  • Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
  • First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
  • Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
  • First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
  • World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden MotoGP track record at Misano
2011: Grid, 15th; Race, DNF
2010: Grid: 14th; Race: DNF
2009: Grid: 6th; Race: DNF
2008: Grid: 16th; Race: DNS
2007: Grid: 3rd; Race: 13th