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Capirossi and Ducati aim for further Japanese success

Capirossi and Ducati aim for further Japanese success

Round fifteen of the 2007 World Championship this weekend will see popular veteran Italian rider Loris Capirossi returning to one of his favourite MotoGP venues, having taken victory for the last two years at Motegi.

Round fifteen of the 2007 World Championship this weekend will see popular veteran Italian rider Loris Capirossi returning to one of his favourite MotoGP venues, having taken victory for the last two years at Motegi.

Capirossi could see his team-mate Casey Stoner becoming the second-youngest premier-class champion in history on Sunday and Ducati are well placed to take their first title in the category at a venue where they have previously enjoyed great success.

Ducati lead the constructors' championship standings by a healthy margin and the Ducati Marlboro team head the teams' prize thanks to Stoner's dream 2007 campaign, but the Aussie will be well aware of the contribution Capirossi made to the team in order fortify their MotoGP status before the current season – with his 2005 & 2006 Motegi wins being milestones in that development.

Two years ago Capirossi became the first rider to win a premier class Grand Prix in Japan on a non-Japanese motorcycle. After starting in pole he took his first victory of the 2005 season having battled with compatriots Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri for the race lead – Melandri and Valentino Rossi eventually colliding and crashing out to put Rossi's World Championship celebrations on hold.

It was also Ducati's first of that season, and the first for tyre manufacturers Bridgestone since winning at the same circuit the previous year with Makoto Tamada.

In 2006 Capirossi repeated his triumph of 2005, again starting from pole, but was only troubled in the early stages by Melandri, before braking free and never looking back en route to a third win of the season.

Those wins were also crucial to the development of Ducati's MotoGP project – and indeed Bridgestone's steady progression to their current position of dominance this season.

Looking forward to this Sunday's Japanese race, Capirossi commented: "My 2005 and 2006 wins at Motegi will always be very special memories for me. For Ducati to win a MotoGP race in Japan was great but to win two in a row was incredible! I hope we can have another good result this year because the last few races have been pretty difficult for me. But I never give up and I will work as hard as ever and race as hard as ever all the way to the end of the season."

The 34 year-old continued: "The Ducati and the Bridgestones should work well at Motegi, it's the kind of track that has worked very well for our package in the past, though the 800s are different from the 990s, of course. Acceleration and braking are the most important factors of performance at this track, and we have a fast engine and a very good engine-braking system. The Bridgestones also work really well at Motegi. And I like the layout - even though it's just full throttle, brake, full throttle, brake - so I'm looking forward to the weekend."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Loris Capirossi

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