New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Ducati moving from strength to strength

Ducati moving from strength to strength

Ducati moving from strength to strength

At first it was about making progress and establishment. Then after surprising everybody with a podium result at the very first race the Marlboro Ducati team have been a major force in the Championship ever since.

Both Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss have notched top three results (five altogether after nine races) and Capirossi gave the Italians a memorable victory at the GP of Catalunya for round six in March.

Now valid contenders for the podium at every GP, it's easy to forget that the screaming blood-red machines are still only half way through their debut MotoGP campaign and have effectively placed the efforts of Aprilia, Suzuki and Kawasaki into their shadow. Their prestige has risen to a point whereby rumours, probably not too far from the truth, they were courting the signature of Valentino Rossi were doing the rounds at the last few GPs.

At the Sachsenring Ducati scored another podium thanks to Troy Bayliss´s lonely ride to third and backed up their ever-bulging potential with Capirossi's strong ride to fourth; another top five double. What made the results all the more pleasing was that the German GP was the first time the team had visited the Sachsenring. Only Capirossi knew his way around the cambers and twists and proved that the Ducati wasn't solely about straight-line speed.

In the morning warm-up the little Italian crashed and almost copied Colin Edwards fireball from Friday practice. Using his second bike and slightly banged up Capirossi won a hard battle with Nicky Hayden for fourth while Bayliss watched Max Biaggi crash out in spectacular style to join Rossi and Sete Gibernau on the podium.

"I'm too happy!" beamed Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "To score a podium result at a track which we've never been to before and which everyone said would not suit our bike is fantastic. I hope all our ‘bad' tracks will be this good in the future!´

As if to reinforce the decent season the factory are enjoying Capirossi and Bayliss stand fourth and fifth in the Championship respectively. Ducati are the only team with both riders so high up the ranking and with only a two man effort (compared to Yamaha's four and often five rider line-up) they hold second place in the constructors standings.

MotoGP, 2003

Other updates you may be interested in ›