DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM AIMS TO END HISTORIC SEASON ON HIGH NOTE The Ducati Marlboro Team goes into the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix aiming to complete this momentous, historic season in the best way possible. World Champion Casey Stoner has...
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM AIMS TO END HISTORIC SEASON ON HIGH NOTE
The Ducati Marlboro Team goes into the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix aiming to complete this momentous, historic season in the best way possible.
World Champion Casey Stoner has already won ten races and a total of 14 podiums so far this year while Loris Capirossi has scored a victory and three further podiums, their efforts aboard their remarkable Desmosedici GP7 machines securing the triple crown of riders', constructors' and teams' World Championships for the Borgo-Panigale -based factory and team.
LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project director
"Valencia is a very special place for us because we scored our first one-two there last year. We go there hoping to end this incredible season in the best way possible. Going into this final race of the season I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved in this project: our technical partners Bridgestone and Shell V-Power, all our sponsors and everyone at Ducati Corse. There is a little bit of every Ducati Corse worker in this year's success, it's not just the people on track every weekend who help us to win, everyone has done an amazing job this year."
CASEY STONER, World Champion, on 347 points
"Valencia will be a special weekend, the last race of a season that has been a dream come true. The championship may already be done but I don't need any more motivation than each race weekend. Every race is just as important as the others to me, so we go out there every time to try and win. The only difference now is that I'm a bit more relaxed, a bit more confident in my own abilities and what I can do with a bike. Valencia looks very slow and tight but it's surprisingly flowing, I've always really enjoyed it. I had my first GP win there [the 2003 125 GP], so I've had some really good results there, also some bad ones. I tested the Ducati for the first time at Valencia last November and we were pretty much quickest, so I think with the experience we've gained we can do a good job. There are a lot of second and third gear corners, like most tracks, but because most of the corners are right angles and banked so you can flow in there and use a lot of corner speed. That really helps with the gearbox because you only really use two gears, other than on the straights, so it's quite easy to get set up. It's just a matter of getting your braking and entry points right and getting on the gas at the right moment."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 7th overall on 155 points
"Valencia will be a very big weekend for me and for everyone else involved in this project. It is my last race for this team after five incredible years. Last year we had a great weekend there - I finished second and Troy [Bayliss] won the race for the team - so I hope we can do something like that again. It will be quite an emotional weekend for me because we already have many great memories from the last five seasons, there have been some tough times, of course, but it is the good times that I want to remember: scoring Ducati's first MotoGP podium in our first race together at Suzuka in April 2003 and then Ducati's first win at Catalunya in June 2003, also my hat-trick of victories at Motegi over the past three years. Incredible memories! So now my job is to try and finish my time with Ducati in the best way. Valencia is quite a tough track on a MotoGP bike - slow and tight - so it's very hard work. We will work on the engine and chassis to get the best performance and aim to repeat my recent form at Motegi and Phillip Island."
Valencia is one of five anti-clockwise MotoGP circuits and the second-slowest GP circuit with a lap record of just 155km/h, slightly slower than Laguna Seca and marginally faster than Estoril. Most of the track's corners are slowish, in-and-out turns, grouped closely together, this unusual layout affording spectators a mostly unobstructed view of the entire circuit - a real rarity in the world of motorsport. It's an immensely physical circuit with riders afforded little rest between bouts of heavy acceleration, braking and cornering.
This weekend Valencia hosts its ninth GP after featuring on the World Championship calendar for the first time in 1999. The venue is officially christened the Ricardo Tormo circuit, in honour of the late Spanish rider, a former 50cc World Champion.
Lap record: Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP6), 1m 32.924s, 155.159km/h-96.411mph (2006)
Pole position 2006: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), 1m 31.002s