STONER TAKES SIXTH VICTORY OF THE SEASON AT VALENCIA AND SECURES SECOND PLACE FOR DUCATI IN CONTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP Casey Stoner took a dominant victory in the final round of the 2008 MotoGP season to secure second place in the Constructors'...
STONER TAKES SIXTH VICTORY OF THE SEASON AT VALENCIA AND SECURES SECOND PLACE FOR DUCATI IN CONTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP
Casey Stoner took a dominant victory in the final round of the 2008 MotoGP season to secure second place in the Constructors' World Championship for Ducati. Today's win, at the circuit where he celebrated his debut success in the 125cc class back in 2003, was also the 150th for Australian riders in all Grand Prix classes.
Not only that, but Stoner's sixth victory of the season means that the Italian factory have taken 17 wins from 36 races since the start of the 800cc era - an average of almost 50%.
Marco Melandri enjoyed a positive but ultimately unfortunate final race with Ducati, the Italian rider coming through from the very back of the grid to lap in tenth place, only to run off track two laps from the end - returning to finish the race in sixteenth.
Tomorrow the Ducati Marlboro Team will be back on track to begin preparations for next season, with Casey Stoner joined for the first time by his new team-mate Nicky Hayden.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st
"We couldn't really have asked for much more today. To end a difficult season in this way is a fantastic feeling and it's a nice way to thank everybody at Ducati for their hard work. Once again my crew got it right, finding a good setting for the bike despite limited dry track time. To be honest I was quite worried during qualifying yesterday because I didn't have a good feeling at all but by the time we put the softer tyres on the bike was already feeling better and then the guys did a fantastic job overnight and in the warm-up this morning to iron out a few more of the problems. This was the first time we've ridden in these conditions all weekend so there were still a few question marks before the race, so to go out and set the pace like that was a nice feeling. Now I'm really excited about testing the new bike tomorrow. It felt good the last time I rode it and I'm sure they've made it better, so hopefully we can have a good first session and go home for the winter full of optimism about next season."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 16th
"Despite everything that was a fun race because I felt quite comfortable on the bike and I was able to attack and pass a whole bunch of riders. Starting from so back was a handicap and I lost touch with the fast group that Lorenzo was in. But I lapped well with a decent pace. Unfortunately near the end of the race I hit neutral instead of first gear and ran wide. I'm disappointed because it would have been nice for me and the team to finish well. At least it was a dignified race."
FILIPPO PREZIOSI (Technical Director Ducati Corse)
"The win from Casey today is a real gift to us because we've finished second in the championship. I'm also happy because after two days of tests here on Monday and Tuesday Casey will finally be able to have his operation in the knowledge that he finished the season with a wonderful victory. I'm pleased for Marco because even though he didn't got the result in the end, he has fought hard, made a lot of passes and rode as he knows he can in his final race with us."