Sunday Jun 12 2011
As had been generally predicted in weather forecasts, the British Grand Prix took place in driving rain, and Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished the race fourth and sixth, respectively. It was a good team result, as the Italian limited damage in a challenging weekend, while the American posted the fastest lap of the race and finished just off the podium.
Along with his team, Nicky Hayden found a very good setup for the wet, and the only thing that caused him to lose contact with the battle for the podium was the particularly treacherous conditions of the early laps, when he came close to crashing his GP11 on a couple of occasions.
Despite starting from the last row and not being completely comfortable with his bike's setup, Valentino Rossi made up several positions and rode a controlled race, collecting ten precious points to retain fourth place in the series standings.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th
"To be honest, I really liked my chances for a podium in the rain today; if you'd have told me before the race that I could have fourth, I'd have said, 'No thanks, I can do better,' but I'm not disappointed with my ride. I didn't get a great start because the clutch was jumpy, and for the first few laps, it was hard to see and to get heat in the tyres. I had a big moment on the exit of Turn 1 and actually jarred my shoulder pretty good, but I tried to hang in there. I saw Colin in front of me for the podium, and I really pushed. I think that's the first time I've ever had the fastest lap on a Ducati, which is kind of cool even if you don't get points for it. Full respect to Colin a week after breaking his collarbone, but I still don't like him beating me for the podium! Thanks to the team. It hasn't been an easy weekend for us, but we kept trying and got a pretty good chunk of points. We'll take it and move on."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 6th
"Without a doubt, this weekend was the most difficult so far this season, but we at least managed to do a good job of limiting the damage. Considering how we came into the race, sixth place is a fairly positive result that helps us to stay not too far from the top of the standings in fourth, which isn't bad. We knew that my lack of experience here compared to the others would hurt us, but it's also true that we haven't managed to improve our setup as well as we should have. In fact, today Nicky managed to have a nice race and ride well, even setting the fastest lap, which demonstrates that the Ducati is competitive in the wet. We didn't improve enough though, and that made it hard for me, as the bike was difficult to ride and I couldn't push hard. We're all responsible-me, the bike, and the team-so together we'll try to improve and return to the level we were at in Le Mans and Catalunya as soon as possible, and then take another step forward."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"It was a very challenging weekend, but we still ended it with a fairly good team result. Nicky rode very well in the race, and if he hadn't come close to crashing early on, I think he could have done even better. After a high-side like the one he had, which allowed Spies and Edwards by, you need a little time to re-find your rhythm. He rode better than anyone else in the late laps, but the gap was too big to make up. In any case, he felt good on the bike, as we managed to find a good wet setup that he liked a lot. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Valentino, who never managed to find a good feeling. We must figure out why that was the case at this particular Grand Prix, then return to the positive trend of improvements that we had been on since the first race."