Ducati Marlboro Team press release:
After two weather-hit races in the Middle and Far East of Asia, the Ducati Marlboro Team returns to the ‘old continent’ this weekend, hoping for better conditions at one of the most traditional dates on the calendar, the Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez de la Frontera.
Casey Stoner has made his best ever start to a MotoGP season thanks to victory in Qatar and fourth place in Japan, leaving him third in the early championship standings that see the top three riders separated by just three points.
Nicky Hayden has had a less fortunate start to the season, with Yuki Takahashi knocking him off track at Motegi on the opening lap and forcing him to retire form the race. However, the American is confident that he made progress with the team and the GP9 in Japan and can’t wait to get back on track in Spain.
LIVIO SUPPO, MotoGP Project Director
“We arrive at Jerez after two opening races in which Casey has been able to show his talent and maturity whilst Nicky has been really unlucky. It will be a tough weekend for everybody because after just a four-day break since the race in Japan the guys will be back on track on the other side of the world. Hopefully the weather will be nice to us for the first time this year so that we can make the most of each practice session in consistent conditions.”
CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team (3rd in championship on 38 points)
“I’ve never really done well at Jerez but in the winter test we worked well and set some quick times so we’ll try to use that as the base for a positive weekend. You need good handling at this track and a bike that allows you to get into the corner quickly and then onto the gas straight away, as well as having good stability. I think we’ve taken a step forward in this area with the GP9 and as long as we don’t get bad weather or some other kind of setback then we should find a good set-up for Jerez. Some of our better tracks are coming up later in the season but if we stay focused and keep working as we are doing then we can still put some decent results on the board. The start of the season has been better for us this year than it was last year so we have to try and keep our standards up.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team (15th in the championship on 4 points)
“I can’t deny that it’s been a tough start to the season, especially in Japan, but we have to move on and look ahead. Now we go to Jerez and even though we didn’t have a great test there in March, things are different now. At Motegi I felt as though the communication within the team had improved, the work we’re doing together as a group is becoming more smooth, so I’m looking forward to starting again at Jerez with a clear and positive mind. I don’t even want to think about the possibility of it raining again there! At the moment it looks like the forecast is good but it seems as though somebody upstairs likes seeing MotoGP riders in the wet! Joking aside, it would be nice to have a ‘normal’ weekend so that we can work properly on the bike. I want my season to finally get going!”
Built in 1986, Jerez hosted its first Grand Prix the following year and has stayed on the World Championship calendar ever since. It is a race that the majority of riders look forward too thanks to the special atmosphere created by the Spanish fans and the characteristics of the circuit layout, which reward good riding. Many of the 13 corners flow into each other, requiring a precise and smooth racing line and a well-balanced machine set-up. Jerez is an ‘old-style’ track, with a lot of second, third and fourth-gear corners that put rider skill to the test. Several of the turns lend themselves to overtaking, in particular the hard-braking turns one and six – the Dry Sack – and the final hairpin that leads onto the start-finish straight and gives the riders one last opportunity to pass before the chequered flag. More than outright horsepower, in general this circuit rewards a machine that handles well and is stable under braking.
JEREZ LAP RECORDS
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1’40.116 – 159.053 Km/h
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2008), 1’38.189 – 162.164 Km/h
Circuit Length: 4.423 km
MotoGP Race 2009: 27 laps (119.421 km)
MotoGP Timetable 2009: 14:00 Central Europe Time (GMT +2)
Podium 2008 : 1st Daniel Pedrosa , 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Jorge Lorenzo
Pole 2008: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2008), 1’38.189 – 162.164 Km/h
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM’S BEST RESULTS AT JEREZ
2008: 11th (Stoner)
2007: 5th (Stoner)
2006: 1st (Capirossi)
2005: 10th (Checa)
2004: 12th (Capirossi)
2003: 3rd (Bayliss)