DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM RETURNS TO SPAIN ON FINE FORM

The Ducati Marlboro Team visits Spain for the second time this year to contest the Catalan Grand Prix, the seventh round of what’s turning out to be the best World Championship since MotoGP kicked off in 2002.

This is a big weekend for both the team’s riders because Loris Capirossi currently leads the World Championship chase and Gibernau is nicely up to speed for his home GP. At the previous race in Italy Gibernau qualified on pole with Capirossi second and the pair were also the fastest two riders in the race, Capirossi quickest, Gibernau a close second quickest. The duo’s impressive pace is further proof of the continuing evolution of Ducati’s Desmosedici MotoGP bike, which now combines superb rider-friendly performance with massive horsepower.

LORIS CAPIROSSI, Ducati Marlboro Team rider, 1st overall
Loris Capirossi leads the 2006 World Championship after finishing a brilliant second in the Italian GP. Although equal on points with Nicky Hayden, the Ducati Marlboro Team rider leads the series because his best result of the year (victory at the season-opening Spanish GP) is better than Hayden’s best (two runner-up finishes).
Capirossi has every reason to feel confident about Catalunya because it was here three years ago that he made history by winning Ducati’s first premier-class GP victory.
“We are all looking forward to this race because we are in great shape, really competitive at pretty much every track. The year started so well and it is continuing to go well, thanks to all the work done by Ducati and Bridgestone. Catalunya is another fast track with a big straight but while our bike is fast, these days we focus on rideability, which is more important than top speed. I love Catalunya and I love racing in Spain because the fans are great. The circuit is very technical and you can have a lot of fun sliding the bike through turns three and four.”

SETE GIBERNAU, Ducati Marlboro Team rider, 9th overall
Sete Gibernau looks forward to his home race with real enthusiasm after a storming ride in Italy. Like his team-mate, Gibernau also has good form at Catalunya, having started the 2004 and 2005 events from pole. Although he has yet to win at the track, he has finished on the podium on four occasions.
“Catalunya can be strange because the grip changes a lot according to conditions. The new surface was better last year, though F1 racing always leaves a lot of rubber which may still affect grip. But I enjoy it, I always have done, it’s a complete racetrack with a little bit of everything. And, of course, for me the atmosphere is quite big! The important thing is to get the bike to give good traction through turns three and four. If you can do that you have good traction around the whole track. I had a good race in Italy, up front again and really enjoying myself because I’m starting to understand how to get the best out of the Ducati. With this team I feel better than ever and happier than ever.”

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
“It’s great to go to Catalunya leading the World Championship and with the team in top form, Loris leading the title chase and Sete proving that he can fight to win races with his Desmosedici. I think we should be able to maintain the high level of the last few races, even though we had a tough time at Catalunya last year. Bridgestone have done unbelievable work since then, their tyres working well during the IRTA tests at Catalunya in March and also at Qatar, a hot, low-grip circuit. This gives us real confidence.”

 

 

THE CIRCUIT
Catalunya is another challenging racetrack, characterised by long, constant-radius corners that place the emphasis on a flowing riding style, as well as excellent chassis and tyre performance. The circuit was resurfaced last year. Catalunya is in the centre of Spain’s motorcycle racing heartland and joined the GP fixture list in 1992, hosting the Grand Prix of Europe. Wayne Rainey (Marlboro Team Roberts Yamaha) won the first-ever 500 GP at the track in May ’92. In ’96 the event was renamed the Catalan Grand Prix.

Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), 1m 43.195s, 164.903kmh/102.466mph (2005)
Pole position 2005: Sete Gibernau (Honda), 1m 42.337s

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM RIDER DATA LOGS
LORIS CAPIROSSI
Age: 33 (born April 4, 1973)
Lives: Monaco
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP6
GP starts: 237 (67xMotoGP, 59×500, 84×250, 27×125)
GP victories: 26 (4xMotoGP, 2×500, 12×250, 8×125)
First GP victory: Britain, 1990 (125)
First GP: Japan, 1990 (125)
Pole positions: 40 (7xMotoGP, 5×500, 23×250, 5×125)
First pole: Australia, 1991 (125)
World Championships: 3 (125: 1990, 1991, 250: 1998)
Catalunya 2005 results: Grid: 6th. Race: 12th

SETE GIBERNAU
Age: 33 (born December 15, 1972)
Lives: Switzerland
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP6
GP starts: 166 (71xMotoGP, 76×500, 19×250)
GP victories: 9 (8xMotoGP, 1×500)
First GP victory: Valencia, 2001 (500)
First GP: Spain, 1993 (250)
Pole positions: 13 (12xMotoGP, 1×500)
First pole: South Africa, 2000 (500)
Catalunya 2005 results: Grid: pole. Race: 2nd

 

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