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Ducati wary over lack of recent Catalunya data

Ducati wary over lack of recent Catalunya data

Ducati Marlboro Project Manager Livio Suppo has expressed his concern at the factory team's lack of recent data for the Circuit de Catalunya.

Ducati Marlboro Project Manager Livio Suppo has expressed his concern at the factory team's lack of recent data for the Circuit de Catalunya. The team arrive in Spain having not tested at the Spanish circuit, and have little race information as a result of Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau's crash on the first corner of the 2006 Grand Prix. Neither rider reappeared for the restart, meaning that the first 800cc visit to the track is something of a step into the unknown for Ducati.

"Barcelona will be another big challenge, so we go there working to do our best," explains Suppo. "The big thing is that we didn't race there last year, so we don't have any recent race tyre data for this track. But Casey proved to be very good under pressure once more at Mugello, so we go to Spain feeling optimistic. Loris won our first race there four years ago, and we hope he will have more time to work on the new engine spec he used for the first time at Mugello." Casey Stoner still leads the World Championship, with a nine point advantage over Valentino Rossi. The Australian has had a change of opinion regarding the track since it was resurfaced, but still expects to go well onboard his Desmosedici GP7.

"We learned a few more things at Mugello last weekend and that should help us at Barcelona," said the series leader; pipped to the podium by Alex Barros in Italy. "As always, we will do the best we can and whatever happens, happens. We've been doing a very good job so far this season, so now we go into every race a little more relaxed, a bit more confident in my ability."

"Barcelona used to be one of my favourite tracks, until they resurfaced it and it got a bit too rough, then it started to really play up with the bikes. My first couple of years it was really good, 2001 to 2003, then in 2004 it started getting too rough and in 2005 they resurfaced it. But it wasn't resurfaced really well and the F1 cars make it worse. The track is pretty hard work, it's got some really good points and some fast corners. The first sector's not too bad, most people are pretty similar through there, then the next section is really hard, but it's the last few turns that are really crucial, especially the last two right-handers. It's a very technical circuit, so hopefully it'll be another good one for us. Ducati's first ever win was here and even if it'd be nice to have another one our target is still to do our best and see what happens."

Although Loris Capirossi has reason to dread a return to the scene of one of his career-worst crashes, the Italian is optimistic and raring to get on-track. The veteran has been working with a new engine spec that he believes is the key to turning his season around.

"I'm looking forward to this race because I hope we will have good weather that will allow us to continue the work we did on our new engine spec at Mugello. The new spec works well for me - it gives more linear power delivery, which is better for my riding style. I use more lean angle than other riders through the corners, so I need a more gentle feeling from the engine when I begin to use the throttle out of the turns," explains Capirossi.

"We made a good jump forward with the engine and the chassis at Mugello. We improved my feeling with the front end of the bike, which is vital for my style, but I still need more improvements in that area. Last year we had quite a tough weekend at Catalunya, even before the big crash, but I think this visit will be very different, I love this circuit, I got Ducati's first win there in 2003. It's a great track with a lot of long corners where you need good traction from the rear."


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