As has often been the case during the early part of the season, the first day of practice at the German Grand Prix was marked by extremely variable weather conditions, with a dry free practice followed by a wet afternoon session.
Weather permitting, tomorrow will see the Ducati Team continuing its work on the dry setup with which Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished seventh and eleventh, respectively, in this morning’s session. As is typically the case on damp surfaces, both riders were very fast in the second free practice, regularly running near the top of the time chart. In the end, the Italian was fifth quickest, one position ahead of his American teammate.
Nicky Hayden – 7th (1:23.092)
“Overall, it was a decent day. My outright lap time wasn’t great, but my consistency was pretty good and we were able to make little gains on most of our exits. This morning we did all the sessions with a hard rear tyre, so I was looking forward to trying the soft in the afternoon. Because of the rain, we didn’t get to do that, but hopefully we’ll get a chance tomorrow to see if it helps close the gap a bit. In the rain, it was kind of hard to get the feeling at first. The track felt very slippery and it was a bit windy, but as the laps went by I was able to improve my rhythm. I didn’t have great feedback from the rear on corner entry, but we have a couple of ideas that might help if it rains again.”
Valentino Rossi – 11th (1:23.481)
“We still have some things to resolve for our dry setup, but we’re fast in the wet: fifth, but three tenths from the top. We know that we’re competitive in those conditions. This morning I tried doing some consecutive laps with the hard tyre to try to understand which tyre to use on Sunday. It will be a difficult choice because the soft is a bit faster in the beginning, but then it becomes difficult to manage, while the hard is a bit slower but is more consistent. As far as the setup is concerned, we must improve mainly in the second and third sectors, so we hope the weather will be more stable tomorrow.”