The Ducati Marlboro Team celebrated victory and a podium double today as Casey Stoner took his first win and Nicky Hayden his first rostrum of the 2010 season. Stoner’s victory came from pole position and was hard earned after overcoming an early battle with Jorge Lorenzo on the first lap and pressure from Dani Pedrosa over the remainder of the race. The Australian was able to manage a gap of around one second throughout over the Spaniard, who finally gave best over the closing laps and crossed the line over five seconds adrift.
Nicky Hayden gave chase to the leaders over the opening laps and stuck doggedly to the tail of Lorenzo to set up a thrilling finale. A perfectly timed pass onto the back straight gave the Spaniard little opportunity to respond as they charged to the final corner, sealing Hayden’s first top-three finish since Indianapolis last year and the team’s first podium double since 2007. After both making crucial changes to their Desmosedici GP10 machines this weekend, Stoner and Hayden are hopeful they can carry this form through to the final five races of the season.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st
“This win is a big relief, to be honest! We had the first race in Qatar wrapped up until I made a mistake and their have been other opportunities to win this year that I have missed out on through my own errors. We have had a lot of problems trying to find the final two or three tenths to run with Dani and Jorge this season but we changed the bike completely this weekend to adjust my position on it and got it working almost how we want it to. I had a little slip off in warm-up this morning which was a worry going into the race. I was staying away from every white line that I could over the first few laps but we were able to pick up the pace when we needed to and bring home a win. I want to thank the team, the factory and everybody who has stuck by me – I’m just sorry it took so long!”
NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd
“It feels great to be back on the podium and I really enjoyed myself today. The bike has been working really well all weekend and in the race I was able to get a good start and stay with Jorge. There wasn’t really anywhere I could get a wheel in and over the last couple of laps he pushed hard to get away but I decided that fourth wasn’t good enough for me today. I did a bit of a backyard move in the chicane over there and managed to hold him off to the line. It’s nice to be on the podium, it has been a really good weekend for us and for the team, the sponsors and the supporters I’m glad we could be up here today. We’ll try to do it again a few more times before the season’s over!”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team manager
“I am really happy for Casey, Nicky and all the team because today is payback for all their hard work. They have never backed off, even in the difficult moments. We came to a track that nobody had been to before but our bike worked well from the start. Both Nicky and Casey were fast in all conditions and today they produced a fantastic performance. Casey pushed very hard from the start to the finish but he always had the situation under control and even when he made a little mistake he recovered strongly and lap after lap he established an insurmountable lead over Dani. He really was brilliant today. Nicky was also fantastic because he kept up a strong pace throughout the race and never gave Lorenzo the chance to escape. He fought with him right to the end and came out with a podium. Congratulations to everybody but now we have to keep working as hard as ever to make sure we finish the season strongly.”
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2010): 1’49.521 – 166.915km/h
Pole Position Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team – 2010): 1’48.942 – 167.803km/h