DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM BEGIN TRIPLE HEADER IN JAPAN This weekend's Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi is the first of three consecutive races in three weekends for the MotoGP World Championship, which also takes in races in Malaysia and Australia ...
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM BEGIN TRIPLE HEADER IN JAPAN
This weekend's Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi is the first of three consecutive races in three weekends for the MotoGP World Championship, which also takes in races in Malaysia and Australia before returning to Europe for the final two rounds of the 2010 season.
The schedule for the next three rounds will see a return to this season's original format of three sessions of an hour in length although Portugal and Valencia will both feature four sessions of 45 minutes, as was successfully trialled in Aragon. Following their double podium in the Spanish round both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden are eager to get back on track and confirm their recent progress, hopeful that the characteristics of the Japanese circuit, where the Ducati Marlboro Team have celebrated three victories and a podium in the past, can be suited to the modified set-ups of their GP10 machines.
CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team
"Motegi is a circuit with a lot of stop and go sections, not much of it flows together and it's not one of my favourite layouts. On the positive side the surface is smooth, with not too many bumps, which have really made us suffer at a lot of tracks this year. You need a bike that is stable under braking and efficient under acceleration so I am hopeful that the setting we found at Aragon can be useful here again. In Spain we finally managed to improve the stability and found a bit more grip and if we can do that again this weekend we will have the chance to fight for a good result again."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
"As always this Grand Prix has a little extra flavour because it's the home round for the big Japanese factories. I actually scored my first ever MotoGP podium at Motegi but I've not had much out of it since then other than a couple of front row starts and a few results I'd rather not remember. It is the first of three races in a row in three different countries with very different climates. It is not an easy grind but I always enjoy it. We have to try and build on the good form we showed at Aragon and stay at the same level if we can. It won't be easy but that has to be our objective."
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"We are coming on the back of a good result at Aragon, where both Casey and Nicky were fast all weekend and their bikes worked well. Obviously it would be nice to us to get to Japan and find that the latest modifications are taking us in the right direction, especially because Motegi is a very different kind of circuit to Aragon. Our riders are in good form and the team is ready to tackle the triple-header that starts this Sunday and so all the ingredients are there for us to try and repeat that result. But it's never easy and we know that our job is to stay focused and give maximum effort as always."
The Twin Ring Motegi is a typical 'stop and go' circuit with very few fast corners. Instead it features a series of slow corners linked by medium to long straights that make the bike's performance under braking and acceleration crucial. The track surface is one of the best on the calendar, with very few bumps and good grip levels. Motegi hosted the Grand Prix of Japan for the first time in 1999. From 2000 to 2003 it was known as the Pacific Grand Prix, before regaining its status as the home of MotoGP in Japan after Suzuka was adjudged to be too dangerous. Known as the "Twin Ring" because it incorporates an Indy-style oval as well as a MotoGP track, the circuit lies in hilly countryside to the north of Tokyo, between the cities of Mito and Utsonomiya, and features an ultra-modern and geometric design.