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MotoGP - Ducati Marlboro Men Ready To Race - March 16th 2006


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    The Ducati Marlboro Team finally gets to go racing on March 26 following a long and fruitful winter of testing and development in Europe, Australia and the Far East. Riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau are looking forward to the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix with cautious optimism, thanks to their impressive pace at the final preseason tests at Jerez on March 10/11/12.

    Capirossi, all set for his fourth year with the Italian team, and Gibernau, ready for his debut race with the squad, were first and second fastest during the Jerez tests, having found excellent performance from the Desmosedici GP6 and its Bridgestone tyres. Ducati's latest MotoGP bike is a careful evolution of its race-winning 2005 machine, designed to offer more consistent, more rider-friendly performance at 17 different racetracks.

    Livio Suppo, Ducati MotoGP Project Leader;

    "Our final Jerez tests went well, but maybe we had an advantage because we already tested there last November, so we are reasonably happy but we also know that our rivals will get stronger. We just need to keep working and maintain our motivation. Loris and Sete have both worked hard all winter and done a great job giving feedback to the Ducati engineers and Bridgestone technicians, which has helped us to build a better machine. The rider can make a huge difference in this sport, so our thanks to them. Over the last two seasons we struggled at the first few races, so I hope that this year we've got a competitive package from the start."

    Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team Rider;

    Loris Capirossi impressed in winter tests at Sepang, Phillip Island and Jerez, but the true test comes at Jerez on March 26. Winner of three GPs over the past three years with the Ducati Marlboro Team, the Italian aims to start the season in the best possible way.

    "I think we are well prepared for the first race," says Capirossi. "The team and Bridgestone are really strong at the moment, my bike feels perfect for Jerez after the set-up modifications we made during the final tests. It's not always easy to find perfect settings but the bike is great now, and hopefully what we learned during the last tests will help us at other tracks. We have worked very hard this winter. The bike is better than before, the engine is more rider-friendly and the tyres have also improved a lot. Bridgestone have done very good work over the winter, so my thanks to them.

    "Jerez is a good track, it's nice to ride and very technical,. To got quick at Jerez you need a well-balanced bike and a good front end because you need confidence to attack all the fast corners."

    Sete Ginernau, Ducati Marlboro Team Rider;

    Sete Gibernau is all set for his Ducati Marlboro Team race debut after finalising his winter's work at the Jerez preseason tests. Although the Spaniard is still getting to know the Desmosedici GP6, he has already shown impressive pace aboard the machine.

    "Thanks to the great work from the Team and Bridgestone I can't wait for the season to start," says Gibernau. "It's not easy having the first race at home but I don't think I can ever remember an easy race in this championship. It's going to be a tough year but we are strong mentally and everyone's going to need that strength to keep going through the 17 races. I'm ready to fight and to give my all, and if we get the results, the payback will be amazing!

    "Maintaining momentum is what really matters at Jerez - it's the kind of track where the more you fight the bike, the slower you go. You need good front-end contact but that's not easy because the gearbox is pretty short, so the bike is always trying to wheelie."

    The Track;

    Jerez is one of the most popular events on the MotoGP calendar, regularly attracting weekend crowds in excess of 200,000. Constructed in 1986, the track hosted its first Grand Prix the following year and has remained on the World Championship calendar ever since. sono state completamente rinnovate.

    Most riders love the Andalucian venue because it rewards rider talent. Many of the circuit's 13 corners flow into one another, placing the emphasis on smooth, neat riding and stable, all-round machine performance. The circuit character places particular emphasis on front-tyre grip, though the many slow-speed turns also require MotoGP riders to control wheelspin as they power out of the corners. Four years ago the track underwent resurfacing and total reconstruction of its infrastructure.