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Ducati hope for better luck at Sepang

Ducati hope for better luck at Sepang

Ducati hope for better luck at Sepang

The Ducati Marlboro Team are hoping for a rewarding weekend in Malaysia after a recent run of ill luck that has prevented them from scoring points at the last two rounds. Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss both retired from the last round in Qatar with mechanical problems and are keen to finish a tough season on a high.

"The last couple of races haven't been very kind to us," says Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "But we feel that our time must come soon. The main thing is that the team is still in good spirits, the bike is working well and the riders are still full of fight. We're therefore looking forward to Sepang very much - surely we now deserve a straightforward and successful weekend!"

Capirossi scored a podium finish here in 2001 riding the two-stroke Honda and is raring to put his disappointment from Qatar behind him. The Italian should be in better physical shape than he was last weekend, when he rode in some pain from the broken foot he sustained at Motegi last month.

"Sepang is a great track, I like it very much, so I just hope that the bike also likes it!" says Capirossi. "The tropical weather always makes this a tough race - for the riders, for the bikes and for the tyres.

"The conditions will be similar to Qatar but maybe more humid. I like Sepang because it's a very technical circuit with a good range of corners - fast, slow, downhill, uphill, so it's got a bit of everything. It has also got two long straights which should be good for us because our bike is always very fast.

"Finally I like it because it's so wide, which makes it good for fighting. Last time we went there was during winter testing. We had some problems then but the bike is much better now, so I think we should be okay."

Troy Bayliss made his Sepang debut this time last year, finishing his first race at the challenging venue inside the top ten. This weekend the Australian hopes to better that result after a difficult couple of races since the MotoGP paddock left Europe last month.

"Sepang will be like Qatar - hot and hard - and a real test of your strength and stamina," says Bayliss. "The weather can be pretty tough, it's always humid but I guess we'll be pretty used to the heat after Qatar last weekend.

"But Sepang is different from Qatar because you never know what the weather's going to do - sometimes a storm can pop up for the race when you least expect it. It's a fast and flowing track, so I don't mind it.

"It's also pretty wide, which is good for the racing because there's plenty of room for you to get into a turn side by side with the other guys. I'm looking forward to it because it's about time we had some luck!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, MARLBORO MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

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