Having enjoyed a much-deserved weekend off following MotoGP’s recent summer tripleheader, the Ducati Team is preparing to return to the track for the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, just down the road from the manufacturer’s Bologna headquarters.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

The event—the second of two this season to be held on Italian soil—is also particularly important for Andrea Dovizioso, who was born in nearby Forlimpopoli, and this will mark the Italian’s first time racing there aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP13. His American teammate Nicky Hayden also regularly bases himself in the area between races when he’s spending time in Europe. Although neither rider has a GP podium finish at the circuit, the team did score a runner-up result in last year’s race, at the hands of Valentino Rossi.

Constructed in 1972, the Misano circuit regularly hosted GP rounds through the ’80s and early ’90s before taking a fourteen-year hiatus from the championship. After undergoing safety-related upgrades and switching direction, it returned in 2007. As usual for the event, this weekend will see the Ducati Team riders being cheered on by supporters in the Ducati Grandstand.

Sunday’s race will be followed by a one-day IRTA test at the same circuit on Monday.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team: “We did a couple of days of testing there one month ago so we should be able to start with a good base and I think we can make a good race there. Misano is quite a slow circuit for the MotoGP bikes, but I like this track because it’s special for me. I made my first race there after moving up from minibikes, it went in a different direction than now, but for me Misano is always Misano!”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team: “Misano will be a bit bittersweet this year, as it’s my last GP in Italy for the Ducati Team. I can’t say I exactly love the track as I haven’t had great results there, but the atmosphere is great. It’s quite a difficult track because it’s pretty bumpy with average grip. We had a test there a couple months back, and maybe we can start the weekend off closer to the rest.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager: “Misano is the second of our home races and is very important to us. It’s also one of our three test tracks; we’ve already done some tests there this year, so our riders know the circuit well. We were able to try some things with the setup, and we hope that work will give us the advantage that it did last year, when we had our best race of the year in dry conditions. We know our bike performs decently there, and our riders will certainly be very motivated by the fact that it’s our home race—particularly Andrea, who lives quite close to the track.”

Ducati Team