MotoGP Championship Returns To Europe For Spanish GP
The Ducati Marlboro Team is preparing for battle at the Spanish Grand Prix, theseason’s first European race and one of the most characteristic and popular rounds of the entire championship, for fans and riders alike.
In addition to Troy Bayliss’ third place at Jerez in 2003, Ducati’s debut season in MotoGP, the team won at the circuit in 2006 with Loris Capirossi, while the squad’s sole Jerez podium of the 800cc era was with Casey Stoner, in 2009.
Valentino Rossi has won on seven occasions at the circuit, five in MotoGP, and has climbed its podium a further three times, including last year. Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, made the podium in 2006 and finished in a solid fourth place last season.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Marlboro Team
“Qatar, with its many hard corner entries and areas where we brake to the right, was difficult for my shoulder. We’ll see if Jerez is a little easier from that point of view, although I think I’ll still have to grit my teeth for a while. Since Qatar, I’ve continued working out in the gym to try and increase my strength and especially my endurance, but after Spain I’ll have almost a month to recuperate more fully, following the postponement of the Japanese Grand Prix. From a technical point of view, Jerez doesn’t seem to have been the most favorable track for Ducati, but I’ve always liked it a lot and we’ll definitely have to try and do better than we have until now. For the moment, we’ll continue working on the setup, using everything we learned in Qatar, where we found some good solutions for the race.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
“Jerez is a really unique race with a great track. It’s one of the highlights of the whole season, and because it’s the first European race, in some ways it almost feels like it’s the first race of the year all over again. It’s a track I’ve enjoyed in the past, and I definitely enjoy racing there. Round 1 in Qatar obviously didn’t go how we’d hoped, pretty much from the start of the weekend, so we need to just try and learn from that and go into Jerez and hopefully come out a lot stronger on Friday. We’ll just go back at ’em—that’s all I really know how to do. Hopefully we can get up closer to the sharp end and have a bit of fun. Jerez can be a really fund weekend if you’re in the mix. We don’t really have any miracle game plan or anything crazy. We’ll just go in there and try and get a good result.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“I can’t wait to get back to the track for the next race, and to continue working on the GP11 in order to give Vale and Nicky a bike that’s as competitive as possible. For a variety of reasons, we haven’t been able to take full advantage of the winter tests, but the Qatar race weekend allowed us to collect important data and information, and I think that the team did some great work on the setup. It’s true that at least with the 800s, Jerez hasn’t been particularly good to us, but both Valentino and Nicky like it a lot and we’ll go there ready to give our best.”