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Ducati duo expect strong showing at Ricardo Tormo circuit

Ducati duo expect strong showing at Ricardo Tormo circuit

With good results for Ducati at Valencia in the past and with good individual records at the Spanish track Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden are both upbeat ahead of the last GP of the season.

Notoriously tight and twisty the Ricardo Tormo circuit does not seem like a ideal match for the powerful factory Desmosedici GP9, but the Ducati Marlboro team have enjoyed some notable successes at the track in recent years.

Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi took a famous Valencian one-two for the Italian manufacturers back in 2006 and the last two seasons have seen Casey Stoner finish second and first in the traditional end of season fiesta at the Spanish venue.

Stoner scored the first win of his career at Valencia in the 125cc class in 2003 and following his consecutive victories in Australia and Malaysia this year he is still in with an outside chance of finishing as the 2009 MotoGP runner-up, despite missing three races due to illness this year.

“Valencia is a circuit I’ve always liked,” said Stoner as he previewed the weekend’s action. “It is tight and slow but surprisingly flowing and I think it’s a good circuit for a MotoGP bike. Apart from anything it is a great viewing spectacle for the fans, who can follow the bikes around practically the whole circuit.”

The Australian youngster went on to add, “My Ducati has always run really well here and I’ve been on the pace for the past couple of seasons – in testing and in the races – so obviously we’re hoping that trend continues, even though we will have to make a few small adjustments to the bike. We’re finally at the end of the season and already looking forward to the next one, so if we can win this race then great, if not we’ll try and finish the year with a podium and then start working towards next year.”

Stoner’s team-mate Nicky Hayden has twice been on the podium at Valencia before, taking second place in 2005 and third in 2006, when he also clinched the MotoGP title. It was also the first track where Hayden got to try riding his Ducati 800cc machine in testing at the end of the 2008 campaign.

“I love Valencia and for obvious reasons it is a place that holds very special memories for me,” stated the American. “But I don’t just like it because it is where I won the title, I actually just like the circuit itself.”

Hayden continued, “I guess it will be my first ‘Ducati anniversary’ and it will be interesting to see how far we have come since that first test a year ago. I can’t wait to get there as it is a great Grand Prix with a special, welcoming and party atmosphere. Hopefully I can have a good race and enjoy myself. If I can manage a good result there’s a chance we can finish the season in the top ten, with ninth place just twelve points away. I won’t be easy but we’ll see what we can do.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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