Italian GP: Ducati preview

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM HEAD TO MUGELLO FOR FIRST 'HOME' RACE OF 2010 The Ducati Marlboro Team is preparing for the first of two home races this weekend, with the target of making sure both its riders are capable of being competitive on the GP10.

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM HEAD TO MUGELLO FOR FIRST 'HOME' RACE OF 2010

The Ducati Marlboro Team is preparing for the first of two home races this weekend, with the target of making sure both its riders are capable of being competitive on the GP10. So far Casey Stoner has been unable to back up his undoubted pace with the results that truly reflect his talent and the whole team are working to ensure that he can do just that in the Italian Grand Prix.

Nicky Hayden is satisfied with the major steps forward he has taken already this season but the American is keen to continue making improvements as he targets a challenge for victories as the year progresses.

Supporting Ducati at Mugello this weekend, as every year, will be the thousands of Ducatisti who pack out the grandstand in the Correntaio corner.

CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team

"Obviously Mugello hasn't come at a positive moment for us but this is our situation and we have to try and look forward, taking things race by race and not worrying too much about the championship. That is what I am most interested in right now and we want to get the bottom of this problem we're having with the front end. We have a few things to try at Mugello and we will be working as hard as always to achieve our goals. Generally the bike is working well and we have the pace to fight with the guys at the front so it is just a case of continuing to work hard to solve this issue."

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team

"I can't wait to go to Mugello and banish the memory of last year, when I was quite slow in front of the Italian fans and so many people from Ducati. Actually things went better in the race than they had done in practice but then I suffered a problem with my rear brake and the result was anything but good. We're going into a run of races that could be quite decent for us and we're confident. Mugello is a circuit that can be really nice to ride or really tough, depending on whether you can get your bike working well and have a good set-up. If you manage that you can have some serious fun. I'm expecting to see a lot of Ducati fans so hopefully I can have fun and they can too."

FILIPPO PREZIOSI, Ducati Corse General Director

"Casey is definitely going through a difficult period but his talent is under no question and we will keep working calmly, as we always do, to try and improve the situation whether it is from a technical perspective like bringing some new forks, which we'll be doing this weekend, or working on finding the right set-up for the race. As far as Nicky I cannot compliment him highly enough on the way he approached winter testing and the first few races. We are obviously working with him too to make the GP10 better and at Mugello we'll have a new "link" to try and making the bike more stable in corner exit."

THE TRACK

Measuring 5.245km in length, the Mugello circuit is one of the longest on the current MotoGP calendar and it stands out from other fast tracks thanks to the drastic elevation changes and the high-speed chicanes. The main straight, at 1.141km, is also one of the longest on the calendar and it is followed by a blind rise into the tight turn one, San Donato, where the riders' speed drops from around 320km/h to less than 100. The front straight is the fastest part of the track, with the rest an exciting mixture of fast sweepers, quick direction changes and long 'parabolica' corners, without any tight hairpins or stop-and-go sections to break up the flow. It is perhaps because of this that the Tuscan circuit is one of the riders' favourites. Mugello hosted its first GP in 1976 but did not become a permanent fixture on the calendar until major reconstruction works took place in the early 90s.

-source: ducati

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