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Hayden cites traffic for seventh place start

"“I know traffic is a common excuse, but it was real today, and I certainly would have been up a couple more spots on the grid" - Nicky Hayden.
On pole in the closing stages of Saturday's Sachsenring MotoGP qualifying session, Ducati's Nicky Hayden was disappointed to be bumped all the way back to seventh by the conclusion of the session.

The Factory Ducati rider held provisional pole twice during the hour but was held up on his last two laps.Hayden remained the top Ducati, lapping just under one-second from Casey Stoner's pole time.

“At the start of qualifying, the track was really wet, with standing water and streams running across. It was difficult, and at one point we decided to come in and wait,” he recalled.

“We're struggling for edge grip in the long corners, although traction seems really good when the bike is picked up. Things felt much better toward the end, and I was on pole with about five minutes to go, only to get held up on the last two laps.

“I know traffic is a common excuse, but it was real today, and I certainly would have been up a couple more spots on the grid. I'm really frustrated to be starting on the third row, but we'll give it our best in the race tomorrow.”

Team-mate Valentino Rossi will start ninth after being one of the few manufacturer riders not to feature at the sharp end during the qualifying hour.

“We were expecting more from a rainy session because normally we're really quite fast in the wet, but unfortunately we made a small mistake on the set-up with the back end of the bike,” said the Italian.

“With so much water on the track, this made it somewhat difficult in T2 and T3. Unfortunately, losing some tenths in that area put me on the third row, despite being fast in the first and last sectors.

“On the plus side, the data make it clear where we made the mistake, and if there's a wet race, fixing those details should make us more competitive. If the race should be dry, I hope that the warm-up will be as well, because over the entire weekend we've only had 45 minutes of dry time.”

Rossi took his best Ducati finish of second in the wet at Le Mans earlier this year.



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