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Ducati look ahead to Turkish date

Ducati look ahead to Turkish date

Ducati look ahead to Turkish date

The Ducati Marlboro Team travels to Istanbul in fine spirits, having made a dazzling start to the 2006 MotoGP series, establishing early leads in both the riders' and constructors' World Championships.

Loris Capirossi won at Jerez on March 26 and took third in Qatar on April 7 to build a five-point lead in the riders' title chase, his Desmosedici GP06 performing superbly at two very different racetracks. This weekend the Italian faces a major challenge because he's new to Istanbul Park, having missed last year's inaugural Turkish GP through injury.

Team-mate Sete Gibernau meanwhile aims to keep building momentum in Turkey after a fine ride to fourth in Qatar. The Spaniard, who suffered DNF disappointment at Jerez, was right on the pace in MotoGP's gruelling desert race, proving that he has really got to grips with the GP6 and its Bridgestone tyres.

Loris Capirossi

"I feel we are in great shape. I'm really confident in the bike and in the tyres, so although I know it's a long, long championship I think it's going to be a good year for us. Ducati and Bridgestone have worked so hard to get us where we are and we made some more improvements when we tested at Qatar the day after the race."

"I'll need all their support in Turkey because I know nothing about the track! I got injured in Australia last year so I was home when the race happened. Since then I have watched the race maybe 20 times on television to try and understand something about the track. It looks to me like a good circuit, which is great because some new tracks built primarily for F1 don't work so well for bikes because they feature too many short corners. Making a rough judgement from the TV, I'd say it could be a nice circuit for me - there are some fast corners and it's very up and down."

Sete Gibernau

"I'm really looking forward to Turkey because I think we did a good job during the race in Qatar and we enjoyed a very positive day of tests the following day. We solved the chatter we had during the race and made some other improvements which should help us in Turkey, so I feel we can have a good weekend if everything goes to plan."

"The layout of Istanbul Park isn't so bad. It's quite enjoyable, though a bit bumpy in places. It's got some difficult corners that challenge both you and the bike. The super-fast right-hander near the end of the lap is amazing, it's uphill, banked and you attack it pretty much flat-out in fifth gear! When the bike is working well it's an enjoyable corner. You need a lot of stability through there, but then you also need really good manoeuvrability for the tighter turns like the three-way chicane. So once again you need a bike that does everything well, you need really good balance so you can be fast around the whole track."

Livio Suppo, Team Manager

"The team is very strong at the moment. Our results from the first two races have pushed our motivation higher and higher, now we must maintain that level. Qatar was great because we thought it would be tough but we got third and fourth, just seconds behind the winner. Those results prove that Bridgestone have made huge steps forward and give us real hope that we'll be okay at other tracks at which we struggled last year."

"Istanbul will be a real challenge for Loris because he knows nothing of the track, but he's in amazingly good spirits, so I'm sure he'll be okay. Sete gets better as he gets more used to the bike and tyres. We were so pleased to see him get a great result in Qatar after the disappointment of Jerez."


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