Catalunyan GP: Ducati race report

STONER PICKS UP ANOTHER PODIUM IN CATALUNYA, MELANDRI ELEVENTH Casey Stoner picked up his second podium in seven days at Barcelona after a hard fought battle with Valentino Rossi for second place in the Grand Prix of Catalunya. Stoner once again...

STONER PICKS UP ANOTHER PODIUM IN CATALUNYA, MELANDRI ELEVENTH

Casey Stoner picked up his second podium in seven days at Barcelona after a hard fought battle with Valentino Rossi for second place in the Grand Prix of Catalunya. Stoner once again showed the class and determination that make him the reigning MotoGP World Champion as he came through a severe test in the most demanding of circumstances.

Despite not feeling as comfortable with his bike as he had done during practice, Stoner carried the fight to Rossi until the final lap, after the pair lost touch with Dani Pedrosa in an electric start to the race by the Spaniard.

Stoner was unable to triumph in the battle with the Italian but third place was enough for another precious podium that brings him to within two points of third in the overall championship standings.

Marco Melandri was unable to find a good feeling or set-up for his Desmosedici GP8 all weekend and the Italian could manage no higher than an eleventh place finish.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd

"Looking at the race set-up from yesterday we were confident that we could do some pretty good times today and I felt it was a race we could win but for some reason from the first lap I kept losing the rear on entry into the corners. That made me lose confidence because at this circuit there are a lot of places where you need to brake and enter at the same time so I missed a lot of braking markers, made some mistakes and lost too much ground to Dani. I managed to work a way around it and in the last part of the race we started to do some reasonable lap times again, but at at that point it was a straight battle with Valentino. There was some pretty close passing with him, at times I could almost feel him next to me, but I knew there were some sections where under normal circumstances I could have been faster. Unfortunately when you are racing somebody of that quality you need everything to be working well and that wasn't the case for us today. It hasn't been a good day and I wasn't too pleased with the way I rode but at the end of the day you can't complain too much about a podium. Now we've got an important test to work out why we had this problem today."

MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 11th

"It's fair to say that things went as well as could be expected after practice. I got a decent start considering how far back I was and ended the first lap in ninth or tenth place, but I couldn't hold on to it. There wasn't much I could do because I was losing so much time in the long corners and it was easy for the other riders to pass me. Now we have two days of tests to see if we can take any steps forward but we need to make a massive change. We'll keep trying."

FILIPPO PREZIOSI General Director Ducati Corse

"It was a good race to watch because Casey never gave up, even when Valentino passed him. He recovered, got the position back, kept his pace high and even produced two of his best splits on the final lap. Even though he finished third he once again showed his great determination and desire to keep fighting until the finish line. Casey has nothing to prove - you only have to look at what he did in qualifying yesterday. It shows that we have to keep working on our bike and make sure it is in the right shape to allow Casey to use his outstanding talent in race conditions. We're not far off but we have to make that small step to be at our maximum. Marco is clearly in a difficult situation. There are a lot of things to work on - some problems have been ironed out but obviously there are plenty that haven't."

-credit: ducati.com

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa