BRILLIANT STONER WINS AGAIN FOR DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM, CAPIROSSI RECOVERS FROM 14TH TO SIXTH
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner won his third Grand Prix victory of the year in superb style at Shanghai today, extending his World Championship lead to 15 points after four of 18 races. Team-mate Loris Capirossi also enjoyed a stirring ride, coming through from 14th on the grid to finish in sixth position. Stoner grabbed the lead on the second lap and spent much of the race involved in an intense duel with Valentino Rossi. Eventually Stoner and his Desmosedici GP7 were too strong for the former World Champion, the Australian ending the race three seconds in front. Capirossi, who started from the fifth row after he had been brought down by a rival during qualifying, steadfastly worked his way through the pack despite pain from the arm injury he suffered in the fall.
CASEY STONER, 1st place, World Championship leader on 86 points
"If last year someone had told me that at this point of the season I would have won three races I would have laughed! Anyway, today was another perfect day. I really want to say thank you to Ducati, to Vittoriano Guareschi of the test team, and to Bridgestone and to all the sponsors who have given me this opportunity. The pace of the race was incredibly fast and we were really quick on the straights. Again we were able to take this advantage and I could just stay at the front with the lap times we were doing. The only difficult part of the track for me this weekend was the turn before the back straight where I couldn't turn so well but we worked a lot on this until we found better exit speed. During the race I concentrated on the lap times which weren't that easy but I could do them okay. During the closing stages, when I had less fuel load, the tyres started working even better. I'm really happy with Bridgestone - we expected higher temperatures for the race and that's what happened, which is why we ran a harder rear and we were really safe with it. I knew Valentino was behind so I just concentrated and didn't make many mistakes. I was expecting a big fight during the last two laps but after he made his mistake I was able to control the race. It was another fantastic race, like Qatar and Turkey, but we aren't changing our way of thinking. We are working hard, taking it race by race and doing our best every time".
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 6th place, 8th in World Championship on 30 points
"We had a difficult Saturday and the crash in qualifying was simply a shame because we had to start so far back on the grid. I was in the middle of the first lap accident but I was able to escape getting involved. Anyway, I had problems when braking all through the race, so I couldn't attack. I could only try to defend my position and finish at the front of my group. I got ten points, which isn't much but they are something. I'm eighth on points while Casey and Valentino are way in front but I'm not so far back from third position, so I'll just keep my head down and try to improve my feeling with this bike which is obviously a winning machine. Also, the tyres were very good today, so we just have to keep working hard."
LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
"Another unbelievable race! The bike was great, the tyres were great and Casey did another fantastic job out there today. Again, this victory is a big tribute to the all people involved, from everyone at Ducati to our technical partners Bridgestone and Shell Advance. Loris once again showed that he is a real fighter who never gives up. Leading the World Championship like this is a dream come true for all of us and now we just want to keep working to keep the dream alive."
After the race FIM technical director Mike Webb checked the engine capacity of Casey Stoner's GP7 and everything was okay. This was a standard FIM procedure and not the result of any protests. Already this season the FIM has checked the fuel tank capacity and fuel temperature of the Ducati Marlboro Team GP7."