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Ducati men in good spirits for finale

Ducati men in good spirits for finale

Ducati men in good spirits for finale

Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo says his men are ready for battle in the final round of the season at Valencia after a morale-boosting first podium at Phillip Island last week. Suppo says that third place for Loris Capirossi in Australia felt like the season had just started for the Italian factory and adds that they want to end it in similar fashion.

"We come to Valencia with smiles on our faces," says Suppo. "It seems like our season started at Phillip Island, so now we can only hope to finish it really well at the final race. It's been a challenging second year for us in MotoGP - we've never stopped working and the bike has been getting better all the time.

"After improving the engine and chassis midseason we lacked a little luck until we got to Australia, where we were back where we are meant to be - on the front row and on the podium.

"We also stayed on to test at Phillip Island, acquiring plenty of information that will help our winter development work as we work towards building our 2005 MotoGP bike."

Capirossi also finished on the podium at Valencia last season and is determined to score another strong result that will give him momentum into the crucial winter testing season.

"It's been a tough year but we have never stopped fighting and we keep learning and moving forward," says Capirossi. "The Phillip Island race gave us some reward for all that work, it was like a new beginning for us and hopefully we can again fight up front at the last race.

"Valencia is such a strange racetrack. It's like a go-kart track which makes it very tough on a MotoGP bike. It is all about slow corners and short straights, so I don't really enjoy it on a MotoGP bike, I think it'd be a lot more fun on a 125 or 250.

"I really prefer fast and technical circuits, like the last two we've been to in Australia and Malaysia, they are fantastic to ride on a MotoGP bike."

Capirossi's team-mate Troy Bayliss also knows what it is like to stand on the podium at Valencia, having taken victory there for Ducati in the World Superbike series. The Australian's long relationship with the Italian factory ends this weekend and he is looking to sign off in style.

"I've always enjoyed myself at Valencia," says Bayliss. "I've had some good times on a Ducati Superbike there. But the place is much more difficult on a MotoGP bike, simply because you've got so much horsepower and there's so little room to use it at Valencia.

"It's pretty much all tight little slow-speed turns, so you never get to even use full throttle for more than a couple of seconds at a time, until you get around to the start-finish. We had a good test session there at the end of last year, so we hope we can carry some of that into the final race of the season."


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