2013 MotoGP: Incredible Results for Ducati at Le Mans

The Ducati factory bikes made a great race in the 4th round of the season at Le Mans, in France, and we're wondering if the Borgo Panigale guys found what was missing from their machines during the last 2 years, or it was just a game of chance, weather and so on.
Hayden at Le Mans 3 photos
Nicky Hayden at Le MansAndrea Dovizioso at Le Mans
With Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finishing the race in positions 4 and 5, respectively, this is by far the best race Ducati Corse had this year. We knew the bikes were under constant development, and despite the fact that Ducati had to skip the very important tests at the COTA, they seem to be making serious progress.

With the test rider Michele Pirro (position 8) riding the Pramac Ducati as a substitute pilot for Ben Spies, still recovering, we might expect even more from the red bikes, now that Pirro can compare the way his test machine behaves in race conditions with the factory bike.

Dovi led the race for no less than 8 laps, but was been pushed off the podium by Honda's rookie extraordinaire Marc Marquez. He told Ducati News Today: “ It’s always nice to be at the front of the pack! I’m really happy with my feeling with the bike, and as long as the tyres were decent, I was able to manage the situation well. Dani had more than I did, but I was still able to keep a good pace.

We had good grip, which helped us to have a nice race, but as the track dried, the tyres began wearing a lot. I couldn’t keep the pace in the last six or seven laps, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the podium. I’m sorry for the team about that, but we had a positive weekend in all aspects, even in the dry.”

On the other hand, Hayden pressed Rossi for quite some time and barely managed to avoid crashing into the facytory Yamaha picking the bike up as the Doctor fell in front of him. “Rain races are tough, especially when you don’t have much time to set up the bike! I got a great start and picked up some positions in the first few corners.

I didn’t feel great at first, but I began to improve and was closing on the lead group when they were battling with each other. I really enjoyed that, especially when the track was pretty wet. Things got more difficult as it dried, but I was hanging in there. I was looking for a way past Rossi, and when he crashed, I picked it up and ran wide.

I put my head down and tried to close the gap, but I made a mistake, and after Marquez got by, I just tried to stay up and get to the finish. Top-five is our best result of the season, but for a while, I thought I had a possibility to do something really good. Still, there were moments this weekend when we showed more potential than we have all year, and I’m really looking forward to Mugello” Hayden declared according to the same source.
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