Andrea Dovizioso saved the best for last today in qualifying at Le Mans, setting a time of 1:33.603 on his final lap that vaulted him onto the front row of the starting grid for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix. The Italian consistently posted decent lap times during the day and was particularly fast in the two tight corners of the second sector, but it was at the end of the session that he really shined, posting his best times in all but the final split to secure the third-best time as the chequered flag flew.
Dovizioso’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, wasn’t as fortunate, as he struggled to put together a solid lap in the latter part of the session. The American will start the race from the fourth row.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 3rd (1:33.603)
“I’m pleased with the work we’ve done over the weekend because we’ve been consistently fast and we have the pace to do a good race—maybe not to finish on the podium but we’re much closer to the competition than we have been at other tracks. I was surprised to do a 1:33.6, as I didn’t think I’d be able to do that, but it was a beautiful feeling. Although I know it will be a difficult race, I still hope that it’ll be dry tomorrow; those are the conditions that we’ve practiced in and we’re pretty fast. Still, it shouldn’t be a big problem even if it rains, as it seems that our GP13 works well in the wet.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:34.242)
“We made a little step this morning and were able to improve my lap time and position, and although I didn’t improve in FP4, I was on used tyres the whole time and did my best lap time at the end. I thought we were on a good way, but in qualifying I didn’t really put a good lap together. I did a decent lap in my first exit, but in the second one I couldn’t get heat in the tyre. One second to the front isn’t bad at other tracks, but our potential here was better. It’s certainly frustrating to end up tenth on a day when things seemed to be going well, but we’ll see what the weather does tomorrow. Hopefully we can recover in the race. Congratulations to Dovi and his guys, as they did a great job.”