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Ducati Marlboro men build strength for Estoril

Ducati Marlboro men build strength for Estoril

Ducati Marlboro men build strength for Estoril

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa had a tough start to their 2005 season last weekend in Spain but are hopeful of a turnaround in fortunes at Estoril. Both men will be stronger than they were at Jerez, their recently sustained injuries having had another few days to heal, and they will race their Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedicis in 'standard' form, without the innovative electronic engine-braking control system that they used for much of the weekend at Jerez.

Loris Capirossi goes into this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix still hurting from the left ankle injury he sustained at Jerez last Saturday. The Ducati Marlboro Team man rode to a gritty 13th place in the Jerez race and will be aiming to finish higher up the order this Sunday.

"At least my ankle will be stronger than last weekend," said the Italian. "Estoril will still be tough though, it's a tight and bumpy track, so it's very physical. Other than that it's quite a nice circuit, with a long main straight which should be good for us. It's also got one of the greatest corners in MotoGP, turn five, which you attack at 230kmh. It's a lot of fun, when you get it right!"

"Apart from my injury I'm fairly happy with things so far. This year's bike is much better than last year's, much more balanced. The tyres are also improving - at some tracks they are already competitive, at other tracks we need to do a little work. The main thing is that we already have a very good working relationship with Bridgestone, they're good people and they work very hard."

Carlos Checa will also be riding injured this weekend. Last month the Ducati Marlboro Team rider crashed in testing and suffered a dislocated left shoulder, an injury that takes time to fully heal.

"The shoulder made it difficult for me to hold a line at Jerez, but I'll be stronger at Estoril," declared Checa, who scored his first MotoGP pole at the 2002 Portuguese GP. "The most interesting thing about Estoril is its contrasting layout - some sections are very, very fast while others are very, very slow. The chicane is so slow you could probably be quicker through there on a paddock scooter!"

"You work towards a compromise set-up that works well through all sections but you focus on getting the bike right for the fast parts, because that's where you make most time, and work at the slow parts yourself - just muscle the bike through. Of course I'm still very new to this bike, so I need more time to fully understand how to achieve the ideal set-up."

MotoGP, 2005, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Ducati Marlboro Team

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