Casey Stoner picked up an important fourth place finish at Mugello today following a combative but well-planned race. Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, crashed out of the same battle for a top six finish.
The Australian certainly made the most of the package beneath him today. Aware that he didn't have the pace to run with the front three, he tucked in behind Randy De Puniet and Marco Melandri for the majority of the race before making a decisive attack for fourth place on the final lap.
Nicky Hayden didn't make the best of starts from fourth on the grid and his race ended on the sixth lap when he was pushing to make up ground, running wide and sliding from his GP10 into the gravel.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th
"To be honest we expected to be a little bit better after this morning's warm-up but maybe the conditions were a little too hot for the changes we made and the tyre we ran in the race. The left side of the tyre was working really well but I just couldn't get the right side hooked up and I was running wide, losing the front a bit, but I managed to stay on. Once I got ahead of Marco and Randy in the early stages of the race I was pushing to get away but couldn't so I decided to sit back and attack them on the last lap. I suppose in that respect I got the job done bit it's not exactly what I would have liked for this race because it's a track I like and it's Ducati's home race."
NICKY HAYDEN - (Ducati Marlboro Team) DNF
"I screwed the start up and got beat up into turn one but I was able to make a couple of passes and thought I could fight for it. My rhythm wasn't that good and I was just trying to make up too much time into that downhill corner. It was a rider error and it's a bummer because it's the team's home race and they've all worked really hard. All I can say is I'm sorry - that one was on me. I'm completely okay so that's the good thing but it still hurts. Thankfully there are still a lot of races to go."
CLAUDIO DOMENICALI - (Ducati Motor Holding General Director)
"A fourth place at Mugello is obviously not totally satisfactory for us but it was a good race nevertheless, especially at the end. Casey showed his character, he knew he didn't have the pace to fight for the podium so he waited for the right moment to secure the best possible result. For some reason, which we are going to analyse, he didn't have the grip we expected him to have after the changes we made this morning but he definitely got the best out of what he had. Nicky didn't make a great start and in an attempt to make up ground he went wide in one corner and crashed, but overall he showed once again that he is competitive and he confirmed that with another excellent qualifying session and by fighting in the top five in the race."
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda - 2010), 1'49.531 - 172.389 Km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha - 2008), 1'48.130 - 174.623 Km/h
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