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Ducati Team duo hoping for sunshine in Portugal

Ducati Team duo hoping for sunshine in Portugal

Following a three week break brought about by the postponement of the Motegi GP, the Ducati Team of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are prepared for this weekend’s bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal and are ready for changeable weather conditions.

MotoGP series returns to action at a track that is very demanding and full of contrasts. Despite it having the lowest average speed of the tracks on the calendar, the Estoril circuit also includes very fast sections, including one of the longest straightaways of the year.

Valentino Rossi has won five times in his eleven premier-class visits to the track, and he has finished on the podium on five other occasions, whilst the best result of his team-mate Nicky Hayden is a fourth place in 2007. The American will be looking to build on his rostrum finish last time out in Jerez.

Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

“We’ve had three weekends without a race so I was able to unwind for a while following the GP12 test at Jerez, although I continued training to help my physical recovery. Now we go to Estoril, a track I quite like, where we’ll continue working on the GP11’s setup, particularly during the test on Monday. The conditions are often unpredictable at Estoril because the area is very windy and close to the ocean, making for variable weather. We saw at Jerez that we’re already competitive in the wet, however we’re hoping for sun in Portugal, so that we can make the most of our time on the track. We still have to understand the bike better and to work on the setup, with the goal of being faster in the dry in time for the most intense phase of the season, when we’ll have six races in eight weeks starting in June.”

Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

“Three weeks off seemed like a long time, so I’m looking forward to getting back with the team. The Estoril circuit has some pretty tight, narrow places, but I’d say my favourite part is the fast kink on the back straightaway. We raced there recently in October but the weekend was completely wet until the race. Hopefully it’s a little bit different this year because it would be nice to get some dry running time in as well. I know the team’s been working hard and I’m also looking forward to the test that we have on Monday after the race. I can’t wait to get back to the track and back on the bike. Hopefully we can go and get a good result.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, bwin GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

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