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Ducatis glorious 2007 season

Ducatis glorious 2007 season

The signing of a MotoGP Rookie by the name of Casey Stoner at the end of the 2006 campaign was clearly a key move in Ducatis superb 2007 season, but there was more to the story as the production of the awesome Desmosedici GP7 at the start of the new 800cc era and the excellent collaboration with tyre suppliers Bridgestone were also significant contributing factors.

The signing of a MotoGP Rookie by the name of Casey Stoner at the end of the 2006 campaign was clearly a key move in Ducatis superb 2007 season, but there was more to the story as the production of the awesome Desmosedici GP7 at the start of the new 800cc era and the excellent collaboration with tyre suppliers Bridgestone were also significant contributing factors.

Of course the year ended with Stoner as the World Champion, Ducati Marlboro as Teams World title winners and Ducati as Constructors World Champions the first such title for a European manufacturer in the premier class since 1973. All this in just their fifth season, Ducati having joined the MotoGP field in 2003.

This unprecedented success prompted Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to invite staff from the Ducati factory in Bologna and the Ducati MotoGP team to an official presentation in Rome in acknowledgement of their achievements.

With Stoner having finished seventh in the general standings after a solitary podium appearance with Honda LCR in 2006 some saw his recruitment for this year as something of a gamble by Ducati MotoGP team manager Livio Suppo - but it was soon proven to be a highly astute signing.

After the young Australian and new team-mate Loris Capirossi had demonstrated the power of the Filippo Preziosi-designed Desmosedici GP7 in pre-season tests, Stoner stunned the paddock with a controlled display of supreme riding in Qatar, making his Ducati Grand Prix debut with a win.

After that shock first triumph at Losail, victories in Turkey and China proved his Qatari effort was not a freak result and an awe-inspiring performance at Catalunya, where Stoner duelled with five-time premier class champion Valentino Rossi, and left Dani Pedrosa chasing shadows, meant his title credentials were looking good before the halfway stage.

After dominating the mid-season Stoner clinched the MotoGP crown with his worst result of the term in sixth at Motegi and added two further victories after the Japanese visit for good measure, leaving him with a 2007 record of ten victories, 14 podiums, five pole positions and just one finish outside the top five.

The Ducati star therefore ended the year 125 points clear at the head of the standings. Congratulations Casey, hats off to Livio!

After Stoners glory was confirmed in Japan, Gabriele del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, enthused: ´It´s an important and remarkable achievement, 34 years after the premier-class World Championship was last won by an Italian factory. It is a dream come true, a great feat realised thanks to Casey´s commitment, bravery and team work, united with the work of our draughtsmen, technicians, engineers, team members, sponsors and everyone at the factory. They have all worked with great passion and great skill to obtain this championship win.´

Indeed that historic afternoon at Twin Ring Motegi was a special occasion for Ducati all-round as the race win went to the man on the other side of the pit-box with Capirossi completing a hat-trick of consecutive Japanese victories.

Earlier in the year it had already been announced that Capirossi who by his own very high standards was not having his best campaign would leave Ducati for Suzuki after five seasons with the Italian firm. The 34 year-old had significant year away from the race track too as his wife Ingrid gave birth to baby son Riccardo, but the experienced Italian rider was never fully comfortable with the 2007 Ducati prototype.

Nonetheless the hat-trick win in the Far East and three additional 2007 rostrum appearances meant that Capirossi left Ducati with a record of seven victories and 23 podiums in five years, having made a massive contribution to the brand and their collaboration with Bridgestone helping to put the Italian outfit in a World Championship winning position in 2007.

The departure of one popular Italian heralds the arrival of another at Ducati, thanks to the recruitment of Marco Melandri, with the team set to take on 2008 with one of the best line-ups and one of the strongest packages in the MotoGP paddock.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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