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Ducati hope evolving Desmosedici can help improve form

Ducati hope evolving Desmosedici can help improve form

Following the short break after round three Ducati Marlboro are hoping for a turnaround in form in China.

Ducati Marlboro´s mixed fortunes thus far in 2008 mean the team head to the Far East for round four hoping for an improvement in results for both of their riders in this weekend´s Shanghai International race.

Casey Stoner´s opening round win in Qatar has been followed up by two frustrating races in Spain and Portugal, while his new team-mate Marco Melandri is yet to finish in the top ten this season, but as World Champions Ducati are of course working hard to return to competitiveness and put the heat on Honda and Yamaha again.

The development of the Desmosedici GP8 continues apace and Bridgestone will be doing everything possible to help Stoner repeat the victory he achieved in China last year, at a circuit where he was also victorious as a 250cc rider in 2005.

Ahead of the 2008 Pramac Grand Prix of China, Ducati Marlboro´s MotoGP Project Director Livio Suppo commented, `On paper the Shanghai circuit is one that should suit our package quite well so I´m sure that we´ll be strong. Vittoriano Guareschi has spent three days testing some new things at Mugello, in particular with the electronics, and we´re satisfied with how the GP8 is continuing to evolve.´

`Bridgestone are also putting a lot of hard work in. Casey had a really good test after the race at Estoril and I think we´ll also see some encouraging signs from Marco soon.´

Ready to return to action following a short break at home in Australia reigning World Champion Stoner added, `After such a great start in Qatar the last two races in Spain and Portugal have been tough, and to be honest a little unlucky too, but we made a few set-up changes in the Estoril test that should prove helpful in China.´

`At Shanghai we should also have some new tyres available from Bridgestone. Our package worked really well at this track last year but there´s no point looking into the past - we have to look to get the most out of what we have available to us right now.´

Melandri, meanwhile, who was on the podium in MotoGP´s first visit to China in 2005 and scored a solid fifth place there last year, stated, `Shanghai is a circuit I like a lot. The first time we went there I managed a podium and we were really strong in the wet. In fact my main memory from that race is the rain, there was so much of it!´

`Last year I finished fifth and that was a good result for me because I remember I was losing a lot of ground on the straights, on top speed. That shouldn´t be the case this year and in general the track should be good for our bike so hopefully we can have a good race at last.´

MotoGP, 2008, Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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