Portuguese GP: Ducati race notes

The Ducati Marlboro Team was very much out of luck at Estoril today, Loris Capirossi struggling home in 12th position, Sete Gibernau knocked down by another rider. The pair were set for a challenging race anyway, Gibernau having qualified eighth...

The Ducati Marlboro Team was very much out of luck at Estoril today, Loris Capirossi struggling home in 12th position, Sete Gibernau knocked down by another rider.

The pair were set for a challenging race anyway, Gibernau having qualified eighth quickest yesterday, Capirossi tenth. Both men made great starts, Capirossi completing the first lap in sixth place, just ahead of Gibernau, but that was as good as it got. On lap two Casey Stoner crashed at Turn Four, right in front of Gibernau, who couldn't avoid Stoner's fallen bike, careering over the top of the machine and landing heavily.

The Spaniard, who was taken immediately to the Clinica Mobile for treatment, sustained a broken bone in his right hand and further damage to the left collarbone he broke in June.

Capirossi held fifth for several laps but then slipped backwards due to rear grip problems. In an effort to gain more grip on the partially resurfaced track Bridgestone brought tyres from their European base in Germany overnight but the gamble didn't work and Capirossi had to ease his pace.

Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team, finished 12th, 4th overall, 209 points "It's been a difficult weekend. We never found a good solution for our tyres here, they just didn't work on the new tarmac. Bridgestone brought some different tyres overnight which we tried in warm-up and although we had some problems we decided to use this tyre for the race. But I started losing grip after a few laps, I had to fight to make the finish. In fact I started well, I was up with the leaders and thought I might be able to get a good result. However, after a while I had to ease off and it's not normal for me to go so slow. This season we have had some great moments with Bridgestone but this is the worst, so we have to think carefully about how to avoid these situations in the future. If we want to win, we need to go fast at every track."

Sete Gibernau, Ducati Marlboro Team, DNF, 12th overall, 95 points "We had worked well over the past two days, making things better and better. I got a good start, felt good on the bike and was ready to go. I passed a few guys on the first lap, then Stoner crashed just in front of me and I couldn't miss his bike. The fifth metacarpal in my right hand is broken and it seems I may have bent one of the plates that's screwed to the collarbone. But I'm lucky it's not more serious, it could have been worse. Anyway, we need to think positive and keep working. This has been an unlucky day but I am sure things will come right for us eventually."

Federico Minoli, Ducati Motor Holdings president and CEO "Today has been a very difficult day. Now we will put everything into scoring a good result at Valencia, where we want to finish what has been a wonderful year for us on a high note."

Livio Suppo, Ducati MotoGP project manager "A terrible day for us. It was dreadful luck for Sete and for Loris also, because he doesn't deserve to finish 12th. We we must keep looking forward and work as hard as ever. When things go our way we can be unbeatable, but we must avoid having bad days like today, that is our main goal at the moment."

-credit: www.ducati.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Sete Gibernau , Casey Stoner , Livio Suppo