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Ducati battle back to the podium on home soil

Ducati battle back to the podium on home soil

Ducati battle back to the podium on home soil

Loris Capirossi was back to his brilliant best at Mugello today, unleashing a stupendous end-of-race charge to snatch third place from Melandri and finish just 3.874 seconds behind race winner Rossi, scoring Ducati's first podium this year.

The Ducati Marlboro Team man led into turn one (as he had predicted after qualifying), then slipped to fourth as he battled to stay on terms with the other Italians. But his best was yet to come. Having chosen a hard compound rear tyre, he had enough grip to attack Melandri, the pair swapping places maybe half a dozen times during the last two laps.

"Ducati arrived in a good position today and we can expect better and better from now on," beamed Capirossi after his first podium finish since last October's Australian GP. "The race seemed more like a 125 race, I was even looking at the giant TV screens to see what was going on, but everyone rode very correctly."

"The team worked well all weekend to get the best settings and we also worked really well with Bridgestone, the bike was perfect. After warm-up we chose a slightly harder tyre, which is why I wasn't so fast early on, but I got better. Also, I have changed my riding style to look after the tyres. Normally I am on or off with the throttle, but now I am trying to be smoother. I'm so happy for the team, especially after our unlucky start to the year. Thanks also to my fans, there were a lot of people cheering for me which gives me a lot of emotion."

Ducati Motor President Federico Minoli was obviously delighted to see Capirossi back on the rostrum at the factory home round.
"I think this race shows that the Ducati Marlboro Team is back!" smiled Mr Minoli. "It was a fantastic race, with Loris close to the front all the way to the flag. As fans of racing, we were jumping all over the place as he fought with Melandri during the final laps."

"I think we really deserved this result, but we still need a little more to get in front, we just need to open the door a bit more," he added. "Congratulations to Loris and Carlos, who also rode a good race, and I'd like to say that I'm very happy that Livio can now shave off his beard!" (Ducati MotoGP project manager Livio Suppo had recently vowed not to shave until the team made it back onto the podium.)


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