Ducati racing team
Factory Fortunes: Ducati´s 2009 lineup
Thursday, 08 January 2009
Past, present and future title challengers make up Ducati´s squadron for 2009.
A unique factory lineup of two former MotoGP World Champions is the jewel in the crown of Ducati´s 2009 project, as the Italian team partner Casey Stoner with new addition Nicky Hayden onboard the Desmosedici GP9. Riders making their debut in the premier class feature in a reshuffled Alice Team, Mika Kallio paired with former test rider Niccolo Canepa.
There will also be an extra Ducati on the MotoGP grid in 2009, that of Sete Gibernau and the Onde 2000 satellite team providing the Spaniard with a comeback opportunity after two years away from the action.
Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team 2009
Casey Stoner, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team 2008
BRNO August 18, 2008
It was a while that there where test opportunities, but this Monday after the Grand Prix in the Czech Republic. All manufacturers had to try out new material on the circuit of Brno, the world's best benchmark circuit.
After his crash in the race, Casey Stoner had a busy day ahead. However, there where no tests with the GP9 but simply with the GP8 where the necessary mechanical adjustments were made while there were also several bands tested. For lunch the Australians had set a time under the 1'57 and in the afternoon even a time of 1'56 .261 which made him more than one second faster than racewinnaar Valentino Rossi during the race.
BRNO August 17, 2008
Casey Stoner about BRNO
"Brno is a nice circuit, but it requires a lot about you. It is a bit similar to Mugello and Phillip Island, two of my favorite circuits. In the 250cc I stood in Brno on the podium and last year I won here , So with my machine as it runs the last races, it should be possible again for a good result. We have still a few points to make up in the championship, which will be no easy task, but the whole team works very hard and we will give everything. After the race at Laguna Seca, I turned back to Australia and I spent time with my wife and family, away from the circuit. I've caught my rest, but I also trained a lot and I can not wait to get back on my Ducati"
DUCATI MOTOGP TEAM RETURN TO ACTION AT BRNO
The Ducati MotoGP Team is ready to start the final sprint towards 2008 MotoGP World Championship glory, starting off with this weekend's classic appointment at Brno, in the Czech Republic, before a run of six crucial races across Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
Casey Stoner, who found himself down in fourth place overall, 50 points behind series leader Valentino Rossi after the Catalunya GP just over two months ago, has put together an incredible run of form to haul himself back into contention. Three wins and a second place from four races make him the form rider in the championship, lifting him to second in the standings, 25 points adrift of the Italian.
The World Champion returns from a three-week holiday in his native Australia aiming to reproduce that kind of form at the Czech circuit, which has been completely resurfaced for this year's race. Stoner took a clean sweep of pole, fastest lap and victory at Brno in 2007, adding to a 250cc podium there in 2005.
Marco Melandri is also hopeful of a good result after spending the break with his family, who helped him to enjoy his 26th birthday celebrations on 7th August. The Italian has celebrated victory at Brno on three occasions in the smaller classes, including back-to-back 125cc wins in 1998 and 1999 followed by 250cc victory in 2002. Over the past two rounds the man from Ravenna has shown good progress during practice, although bad luck has prevented him from turning that into race results.
LIVIO SUPPO, MotoGP Project Director
"Brno has always been a track where our bike has been very much at home. Over the past two seasons, thanks also to the optimum performance of Bridgestone tyres, we have taken victory - in 2006 with Loris and last year with Casey. The track has been resurfaced and that creates something of an unknown for all of us. We just hope that grip is as good as it was last year and that the weather is stable over the three days so that we can prepare properly for the race. We head to Brno with confidence but also aware that the level of the championship is ever higher and it will be another difficult weekend."
CASEY STONER (Ducati MotoGP Team) 2nd in the championship on 187 points (-25)
"Brno is a nice track but it's demanding too - a bit like Mugello and Phillip Island, two of my favourites. In 250 I was on the podium and last year we won, so with the bike performing as it has been lately we should be able to fight for a good result again. We've still got quite a few points to make up in the championship, which won't be easy, but the whole team are working so hard and we'll give it our best shot. After that, whatever will be, will be. After the race at Laguna Seca I went back to Australia and spent a bit of time with my wife and family away from the track. I got some rest in but I also trained hard and now I can't wait to get back on the bike."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati MotoGP Team) 17th in the championship on 32 points (-180)
"I like Brno and I've won there in 125 and in 250. Whilst I've not managed a podium in MotoGP I have always gone well in testing. This year they've re-laid the track so that will be a new factor for everybody. We'll see. I hope we can continue to work as well as we did in Germany and America, but this time finish it off with a result in the race. The track is definitely suited to our bike so expectations are high. The holiday went well - I spent a few days in Montecarlo and then went back to Romagna because I hadn't seen my family for a long time. I spent my birthday with them and it was a nice way to kick back and relax."
The Brno circuit snakes its way around the hills that border the Czech Republic's second city and is one of the jewels in the crown of motorcycle racing. Built in 1987 to replace the old and dangerous road circuit that had previously hosted Grand Prix racing, the 'new' track retains some of the original characteristics and for this reason it is much to the liking of the riders. With track width reaching 15m in some places, its fast and mixed layout features fast direction changes, chicanes and elevation changes. The extra width rewards a precise racing line and those continual elevations changes, with several downhill braking areas, require a perfect bike set-up, a talented rider and good tyre life. Engine performance is also an important factor, with the long straights giving the MotoGP machines chance to really stretch their legs. The circuit has been resurfaced for this season.
Circuit Record: Loris Capirossi (Ducati - 2006), 1'58.157 - 164.618 km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha - 2006), 1'56.191 - 167.403 km/h
Circuit length: 5.403km
MotoGP Race 2008: 22 laps (118.866 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2008: 14:00 CET
Laguna Seca Juli 20, 2008
DUCATI LOOK TO CONTINUE GREAT FORM AT LAGUNA SECA
The Ducati MotoGP Team tackle the final race before the summer break this weekend just days after Casey Stoner's most recent success at Sachsenring, where the Australian's third consecutive victory and his fourteenth overall for Ducati took his win rate to 50% from 28 races contested so far in the Borgo Panigale factory's colours.
Marco Melandri also produced a good performance in Germany, where he returned to competitive form with an exciting battle through the field, only to be halted in his tracks with an unfortunate crash just moments after he set the fastest lap of the race.
The USGP, which only features the MotoGP class, brings to an end an intensive period of races that has brought the top three riders in the championship even closer together, with just 20 points now covering Valentino Rossi, Daniel Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. The reigning World Champion, currently in third place, is hoping to close that gap down even further this weekend whilst the target for Melandri is to convert his progress at Sachsenring into a positive result.
Stoner scored one of the most memorable victories of his short MotoGP career at Laguna last year, when he dominated in practice and blasted his way to victory from pole position, smashing the lap record in the process. Melandri also produced an incredible performance in 2007, when he charged to the podium from the fourth row of the grid despite injuring himself in a practice crash.
LIVIO SUPPO, MotoGP Project Director
"This is really a magical period for Casey and we head to Laguna full of confidence. It's a track he likes and he was incredible there all weekend last year. We all want to do well again but every race is always different and the 2008 championship is at a very high level. I think Marco can also do well at a circuit he likes a lot and following a weekend where he showed signs of improvement compared to previous races. We have a huge fan base in America so we hope we can reward their support with another great performance! "
CASEY STONER, Ducati MotoGP Team
"The race at Laguna last year really was fantastic and it would be amazing to be able to repeat that but we know this will be very difficult. We have to believe in it though and keep pushing as hard as we can to close this championship down. It's a nice place and in general I like racing in America because the public and the fans you meet in the paddock are great - always really pleasant, polite and supportive of all the riders. The track is really nice too, it's great fun but also very demanding with so many elevation changes and tough corners. I like it because it feels 'natural' - it follows the lay of the land and isn't one of those circuits that was designed on a computer. Hopefully we can start out well and get a good set-up again from Friday."
MARCO MELANDRI, Ducati MotoGP Team
"I really like Laguna Seca. It is a short track that barely gives you chance to catch your breath and it is very technical, with some really fast corners mixed with some slower ones. The Corkscrew is probably one of the most famous corners in the world although in reality it is not so crucial to the lap time. It is unusual though and very beautiful: there is no other corner as exciting as that in the world. I think the circuit as a whole is one of the most fun on the calendar and the atmosphere is great, it's really special. I have always been fascinated with America and I always look forward to going there. I go there this time in better spirits because I know that the progress we made in Germany can carry through to here."
Laguna Seca played host to the US Grand Prix on six occasions between 1988 and 1994 before being removed from the calendar. A series of major structural improvements to the facility saw the World Championship return in 2005, although only for the MotoGP class. The track, which flows around the undulating hills on the outskirts of Monterey, is most famous for the Corkscrew, a tight and spectacular left-right downhill chicane. In fact, the entire circuit is a rollercoaster ride, with a few short straights and a series of fast corners and elevation changes that often leave the front wheel pawing at the air. The 3.610km track is the perfect amphitheatre for the fans and is surprisingly straightforward in terms of machine set-up, with little opportunity to maximise full throttle. Frequent downhill braking zones put extra stress on the front end and make tyre wear a crucial factor.
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2007), 1'22.542 - 157.447km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2007), 1'22.292 - 157.925 km/h
Circuit Length: 3.610km
MotoGP Race 2008: 32 laps (115.520 km)
MotoGP Timetable 2008:
DUCATI MOTOGP TEAM - RIDER INFO
Age: 22 (born 16th October 1985)
Bike: Ducati MotoGP Team Desmosedici GP8
GP appearances: 105 (44xMotoGP, 31x250, 30x125)
GP victories: 21 (14xMotoGP, 5x250, 2x125)
First GP victory: Valencia, 2003 (125)
First GP: Great Britain, 2001 (125)
Pole positions: 14 (10xMotoGP, 2x250, 2x125)
First pole position: Italy, 2003 (125)
World titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2007)
MotoGP track record at Laguna Seca:
2007: Grid - 1st; Race - 1st
2006: Grid - 7th; Race - DNF
Age: 25 (born 7th August 1982 in Ravenna, Italy)
Residence: Derby, UK
Bike: Ducati MotoGP Team Desmosedici GP8
GP appearances: 165 (89xMotoGP, 47x250, 29 x 125)
GP victories: 22 (5xMotoGP, 10x250, 7x125)
First GP victory: Holland, 1998 (125)
First GP: Czech Republic, 1997 (125)
Pole positions: 9 (6x250, 3x125)
First pole position: Germany, 1998 (125)
World titles: 1 (250, 2002)
MotoGP track record at Laguna Seca:
2007: Grid -10th; Race - 3rd
2006: Grid - 9th; Race - 3rd
2005: Grid - 11th; Race - DNF