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Both still in search of their first victories of the 2010 season the Ducati Marlboro riders are aiming to delight the strong home support of their team at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.
Ducati fans will be in attendance in full force at the fourth round of the season at Mugello, and for factory team riders Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner that will provide an extra source of motivation as each seeks their first podium finish and even win of the 2010 campaign.
Hayden has enjoyed a consistent start to his season and his progress on the Desmosedici GP10 has been evident. Having just missed out on the podium in the three rounds so far, the American rider can sense that a step into the top three is close.
“I can’t wait to go to Mugello and banish the memory of last year, when I was quite slow in front of the Italian fans and so many people from Ducati. Actually things went better in the race than they had done in practice but then I suffered a problem with my rear brake and the result was anything but good,” said Hayden, who finished 16th at Mugello in his first season with Ducati.
“We’re going into a run of races that could be quite decent for us and we’re confident. Mugello is a circuit that can be really nice to ride or really tough, depending on whether you can get your bike working well and have a good set-up. If you manage that you can have some serious fun. I’m expecting to see a lot of Ducati fans so hopefully I can have fun and they can too,” Hayden, who currently sits fifth in the overall standings, added.
For Stoner Mugello offers the opportunity to recover what has been a tough start to his campaign. Despite having had some issues with the front end of his bike the Australian is confident that the overall good functioning of his machine can help him secure a first notable result of 2010.
Stoner, who won last year’s race and in doing so delivered Ducati their first home victory at the circuit, said: “Obviously Mugello hasn’t come at a positive moment for us but this is our situation and we have to try and look forward, taking things race by race and not worrying too much about the Championship. That is what I am most interested in right now and we want to get the bottom of this problem we’re having with the front end.”
He continued: “We have a few things to try at Mugello and we will be working as hard as always to achieve our goals. Generally the bike is working well and we have the pace to fight with the guys at the front so it is just a case of continuing to work hard to solve this issue.”
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