By Stephen English
The near identical front-end falls suffered by factory Ducati riders Valentino Rossi
and Nicky Hayden
proved one of the main talking points after the Silverstone MotoGP qualifying session.
Both Rossi and Hayden lost the front in near identical incidents at 'Vale', the hard braking area for the final chicane.
Having fallen at the same point in the track last year, Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso
commented on the difficulties facing riders at the corner.
“The problem there is that we brake really hard and the rear jumps,” said the Italian. “For these characteristics you can't put the normal weight on the front so when the rear touches the ground it takes the weight out of the front; these bumps make it difficult.”
The entry to Vale is downhill from the fast Stowe corner, before rising towards its apex where Dovizioso continued by saying that:
“There is a small bump there. It's really small, if at the place where the bump goes down and you touch the rear it is the worst. I have had it happen there in the wet. I never brake hard like I want there. I already crashed there and I know what can happen.”
Dani Pedrosa, who has also crashed at the corner, believed the new softer specification front tyre was a factor: “It's because it's a very bumpy place and you are braking full and if you have more front tyre pressure you are not absorbing the bump. You need to have support from the tyre.”
Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team-mate, Casey Stoner, was also asked about the incident and had a unique insight as a former Ducati rider.
“When I was at Ducati there were a few incidents where we would have a bunch of Ducatis down at the exact same point at the same corner,” said the reigning world champion.
“I think we did it in Qatar in testing. There were two or three Ducatis down at exactly at the same point, you could pretty much look at the same skidmarks for the bikes. At Phillip Island it also happened, at MG corner.
"The same type of thing has also happened with Hondas and Yamahas in the past."