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Ducati intrigued by Istanbul challenge

Ducati intrigued by Istanbul challenge

Ducati Marlboro's first two races have been a mixed bag for their two riders.

Ducati Marlboro's first two races have been a mixed bag for their two riders. Whilst new boy Casey Stoner has shone in his opening performances for the Italian outfit; taking his first ever MotoGP victory and finishing just off the podium at Jerez, experienced head Loris Capirossi has been unable to repeat his storming start to the 2006 season.

Facing another track with a long straight, Stoner may have a chance to pull away from his rivals in the same manner as in Qatar. Last year he took his first MotoGP podium when riding for LCR Honda at Istanbul Park, and was the 250cc winner in 2005.

"It's going to be good to be back there," commented the Australian. "The way the Ducati and the Bridgestones are working, I think we're going to be quite competitive. The chemistry in the team is great, we're just doing the best job we can and learning as much as we can about the bike. Some of the corners at Istanbul are very interesting, like the really quick one coming up over the hill near the end of the lap. But it's quite stop-start, it doesn't flow like a Mugello or a Phillip Island. It's a very technical track to get right, which is why the race spread a lot of people out last year, it's quite hard to stay at the front. A wide range of bikes work there because you've got a big range of corners. You can make your time through the fast corners with a bike that's nice and stable or you can have a bike that's nice and nimble to get through the tight twisty bits. The new tyre rules seem fairer for everyone, there's enough tyres and I think we've adjusted to the new rules well."

Although Capirossi has only been able to add 4 points to his account thus far in 2007, it hasn't all been domo and gloom for the popular Italian. The 34 year old is now a proud father, wife Ingrid having given birth to son Riccardo at the beginning of last month. This weekend's race will be the second in which Capirossi has participated, having missed the inaugral Grand Prix of Turkey through injury.

"I am looking forward to Turkey because we've had two difficult results from the first two races and I know we can perform much better than that. The layout of Istanbul Park is good, it's a really interesting racetrack so I really like it. I rode there for the first time last year and my first impressions were really good, though the weather was terrible - raining and cold - so it wasn't an easy weekend for anyone. The first part of track is good and then there's the really fast turn 11 before the final chicane. Turn 11 is a really fun corner, amazing, because you're going so fast, pretty much flat out in fifth gear on the 990! You want the bike to be stable for that very fast corner, but you also need it to be nimble through the tighter corners. The GP7 is more agile than the GP6 so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Like everywhere, you need good tyres at Istanbul, so I hope we can work well with Bridgestone to get a good result."

MotoGP Project Manager Livio Suppo has also given his opinion of the Istanbul Park circuit, but not before extending his congratulations to the team's senior rider.

"First of all congratulations to Loris for the birth of his son Riccardo! Turkey is going to be very interesting because it's the first time we will race under the new tyre rules at a track at which we haven't tested. We are looking forward to see how the weekend goes for us and everyone else too. Bridgestone did a great job at the first two races - Casey broke the lap record on the last lap in Qatar and was the fastest rider during the closing stages at Jerez - which proves that the tyres worked really well at both tracks. Last year Casey scored his first MotoGP podium at Istanbul, which is a positive to take into this race. Loris has had a more difficult start to the season - he was leading the championship after two races last year - but he is a real fighter so we know he will be back."


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