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Ducati aiming to keep up winning form

Ducati aiming to keep up winning form

Ducati aiming to keep up winning form

After a superb display at Motegi in the last round, Ducati Marlboro will be hoping to maintain their momentum as they head to Portuguese soil. Loris Capirossi stormed to victory in Japan, celebrating his third win for the Italian team, whilst Sete Gibernau was just 1.3 seconds from a podium spot.

Capirossi currently lies in third overall, and still has a mathematical chance of taking his first World Championship in 2006. 31 points behind series leader Nicky Hayden, and 19 behind Valentino Rossi, Capirossi will is very much an outside contender, although in this unpredictable season anything is possible.

"I am happy to go to these last two races because I understand our potential and I feel confident, especially after our win at Motegi. I am quite optimistic because both Estoril and Valencia could be run in cool conditions and Bridgestone have understood some important things and made some big steps forward with their cold-tyre performance. Our tyres worked very well in the cool at Phillip Island, in fact I think we had an advantage in those conditions, though we were out of luck in the race. Estoril isn't a bad track, it's not that interesting or that boring either, it's in the middle really, though it does have one of the greatest corners in MotoGP. You attack Turn Five at 230km/h, it's a lot of fun, when you get it right! As far as the championship goes, it isn't over until it's over. We have seen many big changes in the points situation throughout the year, which proves that anything can happen. Like at Phillip Island, going into that race Pedrosa was second in the championship but he got only one point there and that changed everything for him."

Gibernau is still awaiting his first podium of the season, having come close in the last two races. The Spaniard is still to confirm a team for next year, and will be looking to show his true quality in Estoril.

"Just two races to go this season and I feel like we are very close to achieving the kind of results we have deserved for quite a while now. We were in good shape at Motegi but I lost some time during the first few laps of the race, so at Estoril we need to keep our heads down from the first lap to the last. Estoril is a strange track, very strange. It's got a long main straight but then it's got some really tiny corners. I have always been fast there but I've never clicked a really good result. The weather will be crucial because it could be quite cold, which can cause some problems through the left-handers because the track is very asymmetric (with nine right-handers and only four lefts), so it's not easy to get a lot of heat into the left side of the tyres. But Bridgestone have been working really well recently, working towards being fully competitive at every race, in both cool and hot conditions. At Estoril you need the front to turn really well, it has to turn well and you need confidence in the front so you can really attack the little corners, but then you need confidence in the front at every track!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL

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