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Hayden seeks continuation and Stoner aims for points recovery

Hayden seeks continuation and Stoner aims for points recovery

The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France has both the Ducati Marlboro riders motivated to secure a strong result as a busy period in the 2010 season gets underway.

The intensity of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship steps up a level this weekend with the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at Le Mans the first in a run of seven GPs which take place in little over two months.

The Ducati Marlboro team is looking to make the most of the potential of both of their riders at the third round of the season in a bid to get the busy schedule off to the best possible start. Casey Stoner will be aiming to secure his first podium of the campaign and make up ground in the Championship, and Nicky Hayden will be targeting a continuation of the strong progress he has made in the early season.

Le Mans, widely known as a typical ‘stop and go’ circuit, has proven to be a challenge for Ducati in the past although the factory has celebrated podiums there on two occasions, with Stoner in 2007 and Loris Capirossi in 2006. However, the new specification Desmosedici GP10 machine has given the Ducati MotoGP team plenty of reason for optimism as they look to tackle the unique demands of the French circuit this weekend.

Hayden, who has secured back-to-back fourth places in the two races of the season to date and occupies fifth place in the standings, is looking for his first podium of the season and also at the French circuit.

“Le Mans is probably the most difficult circuit on the calendar for me because I think it is the only place I’ve never been on the podium or the front row at, so it will be interesting to see how we go this year,” said the American.

“As I have said a few times we have made a good start to the season and put two good races together but we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working because our objective is to consistently perform at a high level and close the gap even further to those front guys. The last couple of tenths are definitely the hardest to find but I feel comfortable with the bike and the team, I’m enjoying myself and I feel confident about the rest of the season.”

Stoner is determined to cut the 34-point deficit that separates him from early Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, and is targeting an improvement on a track at which his last notable result was a podium finish three years ago.

“Because of the ‘stop and go’ nature of the circuit at Le Mans you need a bike that is very stable on the brakes but also agile and quick in corner exit, especially in the slow sections,” explained Stoner.

“In the past we have usually managed to be fast and run at the front but we’ve never come away with the results that we would have liked. This year I think we can have higher expectations than the past two seasons there and we will certainly give our best to meet them.”

MotoGP, 2010, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Ducati Team

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