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Ducati Marlboro set to be fuelled by Italian passion

Ducati Marlboro set to be fuelled by Italian passion

Ducati Marlboro set to be fuelled by Italian passion

The Ducati Marlboro Team will take the MotoGP battle to Italy this weekend for some full-throttle action around majestic Mugello, one of MotoGP's favourite racetracks. Fuelled by Italian oxygen and the cheers of the Ducatisti, the Bologna-based team is determined to achieve the results that recent events have promised but not delivered.

Riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa have both shown impressive speed at various stages during the first four GPs and this weekend, hoping to have a little luck on their side, they'll be aiming to blaze back to the front of the pack.

An Italian rider on an Italian bike at an Italian racetrack - all eyes will be on Loris Capirossi at Mugello. The Italian won the premier-class Italian GP in 2000 and finished second in 2001 and 2003. This weekend will mark Capirossi's 16th Italian GP and the 32-year-old Ducati Marlboro Team man will be hoping to add some more happy memories to the collection.

"Mugello is a great track and I still have great memories of 2003, when we finished second on the first Desmosedici," said Capirossi. "I love the track, so does the bike and I'm confident that the Bridgestones will be really good there.

" Mugello is always a major challenge for riders and engineers, because there is so much to understand. You need a very well balanced bike, so you have confidence to attack the fast, downhill corners with negative camber and bumps. My favourite part of the circuit is Arrabbiata, especially the final part, because it's really fast, bumpy and difficult, plus the exit over the brow of the hill is totally blind. When you get it right it's a real thrill!"

Carlos Checa – who has scored one podium finish at Mugello, taking second place in the 2000 Italian GP – will start the Mugello race determined to put a recent run of bad luck behind him. The Spaniard has run at a good pace over the last three GPs but his efforts have not materialised into the successful results he so badly desires.

"I've always really liked the character of the Mugello circuit and I think it should work well for the Ducati and me," said Checa. "The track is very fast and so is the bike! It should go well there, though we'll be working to improve the way the bike steers through the high-speed changes of direction. This is one area of performance we've been working on, though overall the bike is performing really well for me at the moment. I feel really fast and comfortable on it - all I need now is a little luck!

"We are also working on tyres with Bridgestone, they're doing a good job, always moving forward. It will be great to race a Ducati in Italy for the first time. I know the fans really get into it at Mugello, so I want a really good result for them and, of course, for Ducati and myself."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO ALICE D'ITALIA, Ducati Marlboro Team

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