DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM BACK ON HOME SOIL The Ducati Marlboro Team will race on home soil and in front of their fans for the second time this season when the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini gets underway this weekend at Misano.
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM BACK ON HOME SOIL
The Ducati Marlboro Team will race on home soil and in front of their fans for the second time this season when the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini gets underway this weekend at Misano. Thousands of Ducatisti will once again make their presence felt on Sunday as they take over the grandstand in turn one, the "Variante Parco", providing crucial backing to the Italian factory.
Both Casey Stoner and Marco Melandri are in the mood to put on a show for them, especially after the results of a recent test session at Brno, where the Australian found a setting that allowed him to go even faster than he had done in last Sunday's race whilst the Italian also made some encouraging progress.
In 2007 the pair both performed well at Misano, with Stoner taking a stunning victory from pole position and Melandri coming through from twelfth on the grid to take fourth place at the flag.
LIVIO SUPPO, MotoGP Project Director
"Over the past five rounds Casey has shown incredible speed from the opening practice session at a variety of circuits and even though he hasn't got the points to show for it, he's in outstanding form and we're sure he'll also be on the pace at Misano. The team and the engineers back at the factory are working non-stop on continuing development of the GP8 and offering all our riders a highly-competitive package, as shown by an excellent podium for Toni Elias at Brno. Marco also had a good second-half of the race at Brno and we're confident that he has the ability to do well at Misano, where he will be racing in front of his fans in what will be a special race for him."
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 2nd in the championship on 187 points (-50)
"We had a great result at Misano last year and that, added to the fact that we're in good shape with the set-up and the tyres, means we can be reasonably confident of another good result here. After the last few races and in the recent test at Brno we've managed to improve the set-up even more so we're confident of putting on a good show for the home fans at Misano. It is quite a tight and twisty track and the surface is quite bumpy but there are some really fun sections. We'll see what happens but we're in good shape - the gap in the championship is big but we'll keep fighting until it's over."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 15th in the championship on 41 points (-196)
"I was born a few kilometres from Misano and I really feel at home at this circuit. It is still quite a new circuit for us and this year they've altered turn one again. There are a lot of slow corners and it's not easy to overtake so qualifying well and getting a good start are even more important than usual. In the Brno test we found a few set-up modifications that I liked and we hope they also work at this track. Obviously it would give me great satisfaction to have a good race here - more than anything for the team."
The Misano Autodrome was built in the early 1970s, measuring a mere 3.488km in its original form. In 1993 it was extended to 4.060km before further modifications between 1996 and 1998 saw the pit garage and paddock complex extended and updated. The biggest changes to the circuit took place in 2006, when the track was lengthened to 4.180km and radically reversed from clockwise to anti-clockwise. The biggest changes to the corners were at Rio and Carro. In general it is a tight track, characterised by a prevalence of slow corners - other than the fast and extremely demanding 'Curvone' right-hander.
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2007), 1'34.649 - 158.987 km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2007), 1'33.918 - 160.224 km/h
Circuit Length: 4.180km
MotoGP Race 2008: 28 laps (117,04 km)
MotoGP Timetable 2008: 14:00 CET
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM'S BEST RESULT AT MISANO
2007: 1st (Stoner)