CATALUNYA COMPLETES FIRST TRIPLE-HEADER OF 2010 The Ducati Marlboro Team travelled directly from Holland, where Casey Stoner celebrated a podium finish, to the north-east of Spain this week in readiness for Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya,...
CATALUNYA COMPLETES FIRST TRIPLE-HEADER OF 2010
The Ducati Marlboro Team travelled directly from Holland, where Casey Stoner celebrated a podium finish, to the north-east of Spain this week in readiness for Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya, which completes a triple-header of races across three consecutive weekends.
The Spanish track, the scene of Ducati's first win during the factory's debut MotoGP season back in 2003, is fast, exciting, and the it has been scene of some memorable races in the past. Both Stoner and his team-mate Nicky Hayden are hoping to find a good set-up for their machines as they look to mount another strong challenge for the podium.
CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team
"I have had some fantastic races at Catalunya in the past and others not so good but generally I have very fond memories there. I hope we can get around the issues we usually have there and be competitive because gradually we are getting better but we need to start picking up the results to show for it; it would be nice to start doing that at Catalunya. The layout is really nice, it's quite a classic, but sometimes with our bike we have struggled to find grip there. We have to try and sort that out this year and hopefully I can have some fun because we normally get some really close racing here."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
"The Grand Prix of Catalunya is one of the nicest of the season. Whenever we race in Spain there is always a huge crowd and a really hot atmosphere. Everybody likes the track, even though over the years it has developed a few bumps. As far as set-up is concerned it will be important to find good traction because there are a lot of corners where you're leaned over for a long time. There are also some hard braking areas so it will be important to find a good balance between stability and handling. We'll do our best to do a good job."
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"Barcelona brings us to the end of a series of three consecutive races during which time we have worked a lot on the set-up of the GP10 with both our riders. Casey in particular needed to rediscover his confidence with the front and he was satisfied with the progress we made at Assen. At Catalunya, where there are a lot of long, flat corners, it will be important to build on what we have found so far as well as finding good rear grip. Traction at full lean in the long corners will also be one of the main set-up areas we will be working on with Nicky at Barcelona, especially if the conditions are very hot because this will put extra stress on the tyres."
The Circuit de Catalunya, located around 20 kilometres north of Barcelona, was added to the calendar in 1992, when it hosted the European Grand Prix, before changing to the Grand Prix of Catalunya in 1996. It is a fast and demanding track with a long main straight of 1,047m, which allows the 800cc machines to hit top speeds in excess of 300km/h, and some hard-braking areas such as turn one and the "La Caixa" corner at the end of the shorter back straight, as well as some fast and flowing corners. The combination of long corners and variations in camber calls for a balanced chassis set-up and puts huge demand on front tyre durability and feel. The track was resurfaced in 2005 but many riders still complain about the bumps caused by F1 testing and racing.