Racing at home for Ducati was supposed to be an advantage with the Italian manufacturer having tested extensively at Misano throughout the season but the Italian bikes lining up ninth to twelfth on the grid there seems little prospect of a strong race.
Speaking after qualifying ninth, almost 1.5s off the pace, Nicky Hayden admitted that today was a difficult outing for the American and that the team had made a setup mistake in FP4:
“It was very difficult today, we tried some stuff in FP4-weight distribution and suspension-that didn’t really work and we went back to qualifying,” said the 2006 world champion. “I was able to do a decent lap time but it was only good enough for tenth place. It’s frustrating here in Italy to not be closer to the front but they went so fast today and I wasn’t able to get into the 33’s. I wanted the second row because here is a place where qualifying is probably the most critical session of the whole season because you need to through the first couple of corners clean which is not so easy to do.”
With Ducati having struggled for front end grip in recent years it was no surprise to once again see the team forced to use the softer compound tyre but Hayden confirmed after qualifying that the softer compound is still actually quite a hard compound:
“A lot of guys are using the soft front, for me the problem is front grip so with the hard I just can’t make it work, so for me staying on the soft front for longer isn’t strange. It’s not really a soft compound anyway, it’s actually the same as last year’s hard compound. They saw that it was going to be sunny this year so the hard compound is two steps harder than last year so most guys are using the soft front.”