DUCATI MARLBORO MEN READY FOR BOSPHORUS MOTOGP Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi travel to Istanbul aiming to get back up front following a challenging but fruitful weekend at last month's Spanish Grand Prix. Stoner, a...
DUCATI MARLBORO MEN READY FOR BOSPHORUS MOTOGP
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi travel to Istanbul aiming to get back up front following a challenging but fruitful weekend at last month's Spanish Grand Prix. Stoner, a brilliant winner of the season-opening Qatar GP, took fifth at Jerez, just 2.3 seconds off the podium, to go second in the World Championship. Capirossi meanwhile has had a more difficult start to MotoGP's first 800cc season. In Qatar he crashed while running fifth and charging through the pack. At Jerez he finished 12th, not enough to satisfy the Italian or his crew, but good enough to earn his first points of the season.
Stoner is looking forward to returning to Istanbul Park where last year he scored his first MotoGP podium after a superb ride at the front of the pack, finishing just 0.200 seconds behind the race winner. The previous year the Australian won the 250 race at the inaugural Turkish GP. Capirossi, whose wife Ingrid gave birth to their first child Riccardo on April 3, rode his first race at Istanbul last April, having missed the 2005 event through injury.
LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager "First of all congratulations to Loris for the birth of his son Riccardo! Turkey is going to be very interesting because it's the first time we will race under the new tyre rules at a track at which we haven't tested. We are looking forward to see how the weekend goes for us and everyone else too. Bridgestone did a great job at the first two races - Casey broke the lap record on the last lap in Qatar and was the fastest rider during the closing stages at Jerez - which proves that the tyres worked really well at both tracks. Last year Casey scored his first MotoGP podium at Istanbul, which is a positive to take into this race. Loris has had a more difficult start to the season - he was leading the championship after two races last year - but he is a real fighter so we know he will be back."
CASEY STONER, 2nd overall on 36 points
"We had a really good race in Turkey last year and the year before I won the 250 race, so it's good to be going back there. The way the Ducati and the Bridgestones are working I think we're going to be quite competitive. The chemistry in the team is great, we're just doing the best job we can and learning as much as we can about the bike. Some of the corners at Istanbul are very interesting, like the really quick one coming up over the hill near the end of the lap. But it's quite stop-start, it doesn't flow like a Mugello or a Phillip Island. It's a very technical track to get right, which is why the race spread a lot of people out last year, it's quite hard to stay at the front. A wide range of bikes work there because you've got a big range of corners. You can make your time through the fast corners with a bike that's nice and stable or you can have a bike that's nice and nimble to get through the tight twisty bits. The new tyre rules seem fairer for everyone, there's enough tyres and I think we've adjusted to the new rules well."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 14th overall on 4 points
"I am looking forward to Turkey because we've had two difficult results from the first two races and I know we can perform much better than that. The layout of Istanbul Park is good, it's a really interesting racetrack so I really like it. I rode there for the first time last year and my first impressions were really good, though the weather was terrible - raining and cold - so it wasn't an easy weekend for anyone. The first part of track is good and then there's the really fast turn 11 before the final chicane. Turn 11 is a really fun corner, amazing, because you're going so fast, pretty much flat out in fifth gear on the 990! You want the bike to be stable for that very fast corner, but you also need it to be nimble through the tighter corners. The GP7 is more agile than the GP6 so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Like everywhere, you need good tyres at Istanbul, so I hope we can work well with Bridgestone to get a good result."
Istanbul Park (5.340km/3.318 miles) received rave reviews when riders got acquainted with the circuit at the inaugural 2005 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix. Situated 62km/38 miles south east of Istanbul city on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, the track flows across rolling hillsides, producing a thrilling lap which contrasts dead-stop chicanes with the awesome 260km/h/160mph Turn 11 right-hander. The circuit thus requires some real compromises in motorcycle set-up, so that bikes are manoeuvrable through the slow sections and stable through the high-speed sections.