At Laguna Seca
Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden crossed the line in fourth and fifth place today to secure a top team result for Ducati that confirms the forward steps taken with the Desmosedici GP9 in recent weeks.
A top five finish for Hayden is the result of relentless
hard work and dedication from rider and team since the start of the season and his best qualifying and race performances of the campaign so far represented a source of huge satisfaction.
The American delighted his home crowd not only with his performance but also with a special ‘stars and stripes' livery, that will also be available on the new Ducati 848, launched in the USA two days ago.
“I have won here twice and to say that fifth place feels just as good might sound strange but man, so much hard work has gone into getting us to this point and I want to savour this feeling”, he said. “To be racing at home, to score a solid result and to have had fun out there is nice. I just want to say a huge ‘thank you' to my whole team, to Ducati and to everybody who has continued to believe in me during some difficult times this season. We have made progress over the last two races, we have kept the faith and it has paid off with this fifth place. Hopefully we can keep it going and score even better results as the season progresses.”
However, a fourth place finish for Stoner was another case of damage limitation following another physically demanding weekend. The Australian has been combating physical exhaustion and to have two races in successive weekends certainly didn't help his cause here. Stoner will now stay on in the United States for extensive tests at the Fremont Surgery Center with Dr. Arthur Ting and Dr. Tuan, to try and understand the source of the problem.
“It has been a weekend to forget.
I can't be happy with fourth place even if it has limited the damage to my championship chances. Today I didn't feel as bad at the end of the race as I have done in the last two but I'm still not right”, he said. “I found it really difficult to keep my concentration over the last few laps and I was in a bit of a daze by the end. My left arm was feeling really tired by the end because of the fact there are so many left-handers here and my left wrist still doesn't have the full range of movement after my operation in the winter. I'm really disappointed because without all of these problems we could have done so much better. I want to thank the team for giving me a great bike and also Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena and our physiotherapist Freddie (Dente) for all their help. Now we'll focus on trying to find out the root of the problem because racing in this condition is not much fun.”