Japanese GP: Bridgestone post-race notes

Motegi -- September 18th, 2005 Japanese Grand Prix Pole Position and Victory: Dream weekend for Loris Capirossi and Bridgestone Loris Capirossi pushed his Ducati Desmosedici beyond all limits in today's Japanese Grand Prix to score a sensational...

Motegi -- September 18th, 2005 Japanese Grand Prix Pole Position and Victory: Dream weekend for Loris Capirossi and Bridgestone Loris Capirossi pushed his Ducati Desmosedici beyond all limits in today's Japanese Grand Prix to score a sensational victory ahead of fellow Italian Max Biaggi and local hero Makoto Tamada.

The All-Italian success on the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi was Capirossi's second MotoGP race win since he joined the new Ducati MotoGP team in 2003, and the first victory in the young partnership between Bridgestone and the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Capirossi recovered quickly from a slow start and moved up to second position behind yet another Italian, Marco Melandri. An attempt to pass the young Honda rider almost ended in disaster on lap ten, but Capirossi managed to save his bike and stay on two wheels even though he dropped back behind Max Biaggi. Melandri was less lucky two laps later, when he was taken out by Valentino Rossi.

Biaggi and Capirossi remained unchallenged in their lead after this incident, with Capirossi having more in reserve: Six laps from the end, he swept passed Biaggi and turned the remainder of the race into a display of supremacy. A perfectly balanced bike and a clear advantage in terms of tyre grip allowed him to open a gap of almost 1.5 seconds by the time he reached the chequered flag. Capirossi's victory topped a dream weekend for the 32-year-old Italian that had started with the announcement of a new one-year contract between the rider and his team.

Capirossi didn't hesitate to confirm the benefits of this partnership with consistently fast lap times in all practice sessions, and with pole position in Saturday's qualifying, fulfilling the high hopes that Bridgestone and Ducati had set into the latest tyre generation. The other five Bridgestone riders had also impressed in practice, with Suzuki rider John Hopkins securing a front row start alongside Loris Capirossi. The 22-year-old American finished a hectic race in fifth position behind Capirossi's team-mate Carlos Checa. Unlucky were both Kawasaki riders: German Alex Hofmann crashed, Shinya Nakano dropped out when his engine seized and spilled oil.

Loris Capirossi -- Ducati Corse Team -- 1st position "We did a fantastic job all weekend long. I gave it a 150 per cent all the way and I rode just about five Grand Prix distances over the three days just to make sure everything was going to be all right! We did a lot of tyre testing, but we saw immediately on Friday that Bridgestone's new tyres had enormous potential, so all our focus went to what was going to happen in the race -- even in the warm-up this morning, I did a lot of laps to confirm our tyre choice and our set.up. My start wasn't perfect, and whereas Marco Melandri was riding very aggressively, I didn't want to risk too much. When I finally decided to overtake, I got onto the oil of Nakano's bike and nearly crashed. I then followed Max and could see that I was faster in some sections. When I passed him, I put my head down, pushed ahead and pulled 1.5 seconds away from him quite easily. It was the Bridgestone guys especially who did a great job for this race. We could see the potential of their new tyres with my second place in Brno, and this is another step up. It's great that they followed my suggestions and that we now have tyres that allow me to ride the bike the way I want to. And it's fantastic to win here in Japan -- Ducati is a small company with a big heart, which makes the taste of this victory on Honda's circuit even sweeter!"

Shigeo Watanabe -- President, Bridgestone Corporation "I would like to congratulate Loris Capirossi and the Ducati Corse Team from my heart. We take great pride in the fact that a Bridgestone-equipped rider won at our home Grand Prix in Japan. We will now aim at further success as a tyre supplier and continue to strive for excellence!"

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Shinya Nakano , John Hopkins , Makoto Tamada , Marco Melandri , Alex Hofmann