The Ducati Marlboro Team is back to its usual line-up for this weekend's
season-ending Valencia Grand Prix, with team-mates Loris Capirossi and
Carlos Checa reunited following Capirossi's absence from last month's
Australian and Turkish GPs.
Capirossi is returning to action after a three-week layoff with chest
injuries sustained during practice for the Australian GP. Yesterday
(Saturday 29 October) Loris was accompanied by Dr. Costa to Imola
Hospital for a CT scan. The results of the check were excellent and the
doctor from the Clinica Mobile gave the go-ahead for Loris to race at
Valencia. Although he's unlikely to be at full strength, the Italian,
who had been battling for second overall in the 2005 MotoGP World
Championship, is determined to score more points in the 17th and final
race of the year. Capirossi had been in storming form before his Phillip
Island fall, taking two wins, three pole positions and one second-place
finish from the previous four races. Checa is also enjoying the
impressive performance offered by his Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici
and Bridgestone tyres, taking two podium finishes from the last four
"We're really happy to have Loris back with us after two races without
him," says Ducati MotoGP project leader Livio Suppo. "Although we know
he may not be fully at 100 per cent, we're hoping that he and Carlos can
finish the 2005 season in the best way possible. A big thanks to Dr.
Claudio Costa and everyone at the Clinica Mobile who have followed Loris
with their usual incredible professionalism right from the start. We
know that Loris has the heart of a 'lion' but it's also thanks them that
he has recovered so quickly.
At times it has been a tough season, but after the midseason break
everything really came together for us because everyone in the team, at
the factory and at Bridgestone maintained their commitment and passion
for this project. We have won two races so far, more than we've done
before, so now we hope to celebrate with a good weekend at Valencia."
Valencia is one of the tightest and slowest circuits in MotoGP,
requiring a very rider-friendly machine set-up. "Valencia is a strange
track - very stop-and-go in character," explains Ducati Marlboro Team
technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "Engine rideability and traction
are the crucial performance factors. And there are some interesting
sections - like the final fast left, which riders tackle with full
throttle and very little load on the rear tyre as they crest the brow of
the hill. We don't plan to alter the engine mapping for such a tight and
slow circuit - we prefer that our riders stay familiar with the bike's
behaviour from one track to another, so they know exactly how it
Capirossi - I'D WALK TO VALENCIA IF I HAD TO!'
Ducati Marlboro Team man Loris Capirossi returns to action this weekend,
three weeks after he crashed heavily during practice for the Australian
GP. The lion-hearted Italian fell at around 200kmh/125mph, suffering
chest injuries that left him with bleeding around the right lung. On
October 17, under supervision from the Clinica Mobile, he flew to Italy,
where he was looked after by the Clinica's Dr Claudio Costa, before
returning to his Monaco home where, a few days later, he was able to
"I'm really happy to be able to return to racing," says Capirossi "It
was tough to watch the racing and qualifying in Turkey from home,
especially since the decision was forced upon me by my physical
condition. I still can't fly so I'm travelling to Valencia in my
motorhome. But my desire to race is so great that I would walk all the
way to Valencia if I had to!
"I can't wait to get back on the bike. For sure I won't be on top form,
but I will try and do my best because I want to finish the season in the
best possible way. I have to admit that the Valencia track is not one of
my favourites: it's too tight for a MotoGP bike but then again it
doesn't have any particularly difficult or tricky features. Anyway, it
will be great for me to put two wheels back on the track!"
Checa Aiming For Home-race Podium;
Carlos Checa is looking forward to his third home GP of the year at
Valencia this weekend. Currently ninth overall with two podium finishes,
the Ducati Marlboro Team rider is keen to record a top-three performance
in front of his home crowd.
"I'm really looking forward to Valencia because the bike and the
Bridgestones are working really well now," he says. "Valencia is a
special event and I've a big motivation to do really well for the
Spanish fans. I didn't have such a great time at Jerez or Barcelona
earlier this season, so I want a good result here, especially after my
podium finishes in Malaysia and Australia.
Valencia is quite an unusual track, there's a lot of corners in a very
tight layout, so you are always working the bike hard, turning from side
to side and trying to get through the short little corners as quickly as
possible. It's hard work but it's quite fun too, especially if the bike
is working well. You need very light handling and a user-friendly engine
for this track. The front end is also really important here, because you
need good turn-in performance."