Ducati: Riders' decision to use wets
Ducati Corse boss Livio Suppo says it was his riders' decision to start the British Grand Prix on wet tires that led to the team's disastrously uncompetitive showing at Donington.
Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden finished 14th and 15th, a lap down, and the last two runners on the track, after the predicted torrential rain failed to materialize and the two former world champions were wrong-footed.
"It was a gamble and in the end it turned out to be a mistake," Suppo told AUTOSPORT. "The team told both riders that everybody was on slick tyres, so we suggested going on slick tires. But they felt like the back of the circuit was too wet to go out with the slicks.
"I think both were influenced by the fact that they were fast in the wet warm-up, especially Nicky. So they were probably really hoping for the rain -- Casey because of his condition, and Nicky because he was fast this morning and yesterday in the dry was not. But again I take all my responsibility, but I think in my job I can suggest the riders do something but if safety is involved I would never force a rider to do something.
"Today somebody crashed, big names crashed. Elias crashed in a very dangerous place," he added. "So I prefer to have two riders 14th and 15th but back in the garage safe, than two riders injured.
"A minute before the race it started raining, and then it stopped again. If it was raining after two laps we would have been heroes.
Suppo apologised for the team's catastophic result which ranks among its worst since joining the MotoGP category in 2003.
"It was a mistake, what more can I say, we are sorry to the fans, the people at home," he told the BBC. "It was the wrong decision.
"We tried to convince the riders on the grid to change their minds but they thought it was too dangerous.
"I said to Kevin Schwantz on the grid, we can be heroes or idiots. In this case, we are idiots."