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Ducati back on the podium

Ducati back on the podium

Ducati back on the podium

The factory Ducati Marlboro Team returned to the podium for the first time this season after Loris Capirossi's determined ride to third place at Phillip Island on Sunday. There was extra joy for the team as Troy Bayliss battled with the front group before taking ninth and team director Livio Suppo was understandably delighted.

"Loris rode an unbelievable race!" smiled Suppo. "He stayed close to the leaders throughout to prove that Ducati is back. Troy also rode a great race, riding with a fast group and finishing pretty close to the winner.

"I just want to say how proud I am of the effort put in by everyone in the team and back at the factory. It's not been an easy season so far but we've never stopped working, indeed we continue our work tomorrow when we start a two-day test session here.

"I would also like to say thank you to our technical partners Michelin and Shell Advance."

Capirossi spent much of the race duelling with Alex Barros, finally getting the better of the Brazilian during the final few laps and crossing the line just ten seconds down on winner Valentino Rossi. The Italian also set a new lap record during the race, three tenths inside Rossi's previous record.

"First of all my thanks go to Ducati, our sponsors and to everyone else for believing in us," said Capirossi, who dedicated the race to his friend Luca. "This season has been pretty hard for us but finally we are back on the podium. This is like a new beginning for us - I'm so, so happy!

"It was a great race, the first few laps weren't easy because the track temperature was so low but once the tyres were hot I tried to go with Valentino and Sete, but I was taking too many risks, so I decided to let them go.

"Then Alex caught and overtook me, so I decided to follow him and attack in the final laps, when my pitboard also told me that Colin was catching us. We continue working here over the next few days, already working towards 2005."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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