Ducati Marlboro Team man Casey Stoner rode a hard-fought race in front of more than 130,000 fans at Jerez today, fighting all the way to finish fifth and put himself second in the World Championship. Team-mate Loris Capirossi had a more difficult day on the occasion of his 250th GP start but salvaged some points with a 12th-place finish.

Down in ninth place at mid-distance after a fraught first few laps, Stoner and his Desmosedici GP7 were the fastest combination on the track during the last part of the race as they hunted down and passed Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa and World Champion Nicky Hayden. Stoner ended the race six tenths off fourth place and just 2.3 seconds off the podium. Capirossi had a challenging two days of practice and attempts to modify his bike’s set up for this afternoon’s race didn’t work as well as he had expected.


Casey Stoner, race result 5th , World Championship 2nd, 36 points

“It wouldn’t have been too tough if we’d got away with them at the start but we just didn’t seem to have it there at the beginning of the race and then I got shuffled back a fair way by a few dodgy pass manoeuvres. Once we’d got our rhythm and finally got past Marco (Melandri) and Carlos (Checa) then we were free to put in some good lap times and push further forward. There were a few stupid manoeuvres out there which lost us a few seconds. The bike and the tyres were okay, so without that dodgy passes we would’ve been fighting for the podium at the end of the race but that’s the way it goes, that’s the way the race panned out. Now I’m going back to Australia for these next two weeks to train as hard as I can and get myself set for the rest of the season.


Loris Capirossi, race result 12th , World Championship 14th , 4 points

“This morning we thought we had found a better set-up but the race didn’t go well. At the start something happened with the engine, I got a bad start and after… well, I didn’t ride so well. We worked on engine mapping this morning but maybe we didn’t get it right because I didn’t have great acceleration and that made things worse. I’m not happy, I had a bad race. Yes, I finished, but this is not the way I like to race. During the next few weeks we will work on a few things to make sure we start Turkey in better shape. The track conditions weren’t bad today, the tyres worked well, but maybe my riding style doesn’t perfectly suit the engine character. I’m a bit aggressive with the gas and maybe this is the problem. When we use the electronics to make the power more sweet the bike loses it competitiveness. It’s a thing I have to work on – trying to adapt my style.”



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