So we had mixed conditions with qualifying in the wet, and the guys only got a few laps in good conditions in free practice and then the warm up. It was definitely a limiter for people struggling with set-up and track time. Again it didn't help the Ducati guys but I've said this before: when things come together, they just do in motorsport. Sometimes it just takes a while for it to happen.
It was a good race for Valentino Rossi and once again it showed that towards the end he is getting faster. Nicky Hayden on the other hand looks strong at the beginning. This was pretty much a continuation of what happened in the last couple of races but it was there for Valentino and he was actually fighting for a solid fifth place in the dry, which at the moment is okay, it's good.
I met his crew chief Jeremy Burgess at the hotel after the race and he said 'Look, we didn't set the world on fire but it was two-tenths a lap that was missing to be able to do really do well', and that's much better than at Silverstone where it was greater and other races where they have struggled a lot more. Burgess also said that at this time of the year with these three-in-a-row back-to-back races there is not a lot you can change, so I think they are waiting for a break and to receive some new parts.
Nicky looked good in qualifying, he was up there and was trying as hard as ever, it just seems for him he's struggling to get the grip working overall for the whole race distance. Certainly around Sachsenring the bike is nearly always on the edge of the tyre, it works these tyres harder and while Rossi is struggling the other way Hayden is struggling with this.
It's still pretty hard even for an expert to get a real idea of what is going there, but at least he is constant, and I think that is good for Ducati. They can work with both riders and even if things don't go the same way, they can keep on working from a consistent base.
Next up we have Mugello, and as I've said in my previous entry that's a huge race for Ducati. I think it'll be the weekend of truth, because the bike has been born and developed there. The Ducati should do quite well at Mugello because it has done so many laps there in testing, so hopefully we get constant dry conditions.
There will also be plenty of motivation for Valentino, because he is adored there and has a massive fan following. We'll see how it goes, I can't wait to get there!