Ducati Marlboro Team rider Loris Capirossi scored a thrilling second-place finish in today’s searing-hot Marlboro Malaysian Grand Prix after a spectacular duel with World Champion Valentino Rossi. Team-mate Sete Gibernau completed a great day for the team, finishing fifth in his first race for seven weeks.
Capirossi’s stunning ride was his sixth top-three finish of the year and moved him to fourth in the title chase, 43 points behind leader Nicky Hayden. Starting from the front row of the grid after two days of hard work, the Italian was third after the first lap, moved into the lead on lap three and then settled into an enthralling contest with Rossi, the pair swapping places time and again, the lead changing for the last time on the last lap. Capirossi ended the race 0.849 seconds down on Rossi, having established a new lap record on lap ten.
Gibernau hadn’t raced since undergoing further surgery in late July to the left collarbone he broke in June. He came back in fine style, qualifying sixth and finishing just nine seconds behind the race winner.

LORIS CAPIROSSI, finished 2nd, 4th overall (171 points)

“The whole weekend has been great for us. At the start I overtook a few guys, took the lead and tried to go away but realised I couldn’t. When Valentino overtook me the first time, then Dani, it was because I’d opened the gas too early and lost some grip. But I wasn’t worried because I knew my rhythm was good. The battle with Valentino was great, we overtook each other many times but always in a correct manner. It was easy to win or lose this race, no one could say who was going to win before the last corner, but I think a battle like this is so good for the sport. My problem wasn’t the last corner, it was the one before where I had a bit too much spin on the exit. Now I am ready for the last four races, I know the bike and tyres are good and I know I am strong enough to fight with Valentino. But I’m not thinking about the championship, I will just do my best and then we will count the points. I am really looking forward to Phillip Island, though yesterday it was only eight degrees there…”

SETE GIBERNAU, finished 5th, 11th overall (69 points)
“That was a perfect return. Once again I’d like to thank everyone for an outstanding job, without them I could never have done what I did today. The team, the guys back home and Bridgestone gave me a great bike and great support, making my life as easy as it could be coming back from an injury. I wasn’t as aggressive as I should’ve been during the first laps, just because I’ve been back home for two months, but I think we needed to do a race like this to come back. I’m very pleased because I regained a good feeling with the bike and I was up there with the guys who are fighting for the championship, that’s what we needed. I was a bit worried about the injury, I was thinking ‘oh man, what’s going to happen?’ but it reacted well. I think the bone is pretty good shape, so all credit to my physical trainer Dani Sune and to the doctors back home. The only thing I don’t have right now is full strength. Now I’m looking forward to Phillip Island.”

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
“That was a great race! We must be happy because Loris rode brilliantly and Sete made a fantastic comeback, finishing very close to the leaders. The bike worked very well here, the tyres too, so thanks to Bridgestone, and also to Shell Advance whose input is especially vital in the extreme conditions we experience here.”

Temperatures: Ambient: 33 degrees. Track: 49 degrees


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