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Suppo wishes Melandri well after Ducati difficulties

Suppo wishes Melandri well after Ducati difficulties

Ducati MotoGP Project Manager Livio Suppo puts 2008 season in perspective.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2008 season was a less than pleasant one for Ducati and Marco Melandri, as what had seemed to be a dream combination failed to click. The Italian entities parted ways in an amicable fashion after agreeing to cut short a two-year deal and, whilst the experience of the season was not a positive one for rider nor team, Ducati MotoGP Project Manager Livio Suppo feels that a lot has been learned from the venture.

`I really hope that Marco will have a better feeling with his bike for next year,´ said Suppo after Melandri´s final race as a Ducati rider before joining Kawasaki. `It was a big surprise; everybody expected him to be fast. We also had some mixed results with Toni (Elias, satellite Ducati rider for the 2008 season), so it seems that it is more up to the rider than the bike. We hope that the next riders on the bike will succeed.´

If 2007 was a dream season for the constructor, 2008 was a more complex affair –although far from a nightmare. Suppo, like rider Casey Stoner, has been able to put the title-conceding year in perspective and draw positive conclusions from the campaign.

`At the end of the day, second in the championship is always a good result; it is our best ever apart from last year,´ says the Italian chief.

`We lost points at the beginning of the season, in some parts due to bad luck. That´s racing. Last year everything was perfect, and this year was a little different.

`It´s a pity that a rider as strong as Casey, with a good bike, lost the title, but he is young and will have time to fight for the title again.´

MotoGP, 2008, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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