For the second day in a row, track action at the Sachsenring was marred by a number of frightening crashes, but Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso managed to make it through unscathed to qualify in sixth and ninth place, respectively.
The morning free-practice session was interrupted by rain, affecting the teams’ planned work programs, but after it was confirmed that injured Jorge Lorenzo would not return to action, both Ducati Team riders advanced directly to Q2. The weather was better in the afternoon, but grip was still scarce in some parts of the track. Hayden managed to qualify on the second row, while Dovizioso will start from row three.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 6th (1:22.157)
“With the rain-interrupted session this morning, we didn’t get a chance to try a couple little things we had planned to. This afternoon we made a few things better, but some other areas were a bit worse. The guys here are working really hard, and the bike is okay in some places, but in the downhill corners, it’s impossible to put enough load on the front to get feedback and make the bike turn. We got on the second row, although the fact that a couple guys were missing makes that look better than it really is. We’re .8 off pole, which is too much at a little track, but we’ll have a good think tonight and try to do something in the morning. It’ll be a long race, but we’ll do our best to have a good result.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:22.561)
“Honestly, I expected this position, as our pace is eight tenths of a second off. I lowered my times from yesterday, but the others were also able to improve. I’m a bit disappointed with my qualifying time because I made a mistake in turn eight, where I went off-line and lost a couple tenths. I was ready to fight for sixth place with Nicky; it’s a shame because at this track, the grid position is pretty important, so it’ll be essential to get a good start. The race will be long tomorrow—30 laps—and I think if we grit our teeth, it could be possible to fight for fifth or sixth place. There are five of us on a similar pace. Unfortunately, it’s a long way from the top guys, but we’ll do everything possible to get a good result.”