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Ducati Team – Malaysian GP – Preview

The Ducati Team left Australia Monday, and after a 24 hour break, its members are ready to get back to work on the GP11.1 for the Malaysian GP. Sepang is one of the widest tracks on the calendar, reaching a width of 16 metres in parts, and the asphalt temperature is often very high due to the tropical climate.

The layout is varied, with a little of everything: two spots where riders reach sixth gear, but others that are technical and taken in first. Some corners are negotiated at high speed, and in others the bike is nearly stopped.

Since its MotoGP debut, the Ducati Team has achieved three wins and one additional podium at Sepang. Valentino Rossi, who counts the track among his favourites, has six wins and three additional podiums, while Nicky Hayden has never finished in the top three but has always been very fast, with five fourth-place finishes in his career, along with one fifth and a sixth.

VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“I like the Sepang circuit a lot, although the weather conditions are always extreme. We didn’t have much good luck in Australia, and we also had to work harder than expected on the bike’s setup. We hope to do better here in Malaysia starting on Friday. Anyway, we’ll also be able to verify where we are compared to the tests that we did here last year. We tested many days at Sepang, and it will be interesting to compare things now with what we had then.”

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“The conditions in Malaysia are typically hot and steamy, very different from what we had at Phillip Island on Sunday. The Sepang circuit has a good mix of everything, so you need the bike to do everything well. There are some long straightaways where you need a fast bike that brakes well, along with some fast corners, like Turns 5 and 6 and a section in the back. On the other hand, there are also some slow little hairpins, so it’s a good mix of everything that really challenges a rider and bike. It will be interesting to get back on this track after spending a lot of time here in February. The bike has changed a lot, so we’ll see what kind of progress we’ve actually made.”

VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“Here in Malaysia, we’ll continue working on the GP11.1, both for the race and in order to gather information for our work program with an eye toward 2012. The conditions will be opposite to those in Australia. It’s very challenging from a physical point of view, both for the riders and for the team, which is working extremely hard on many fronts in this final part of the season. The Desmosedici that will take to the track on Friday is different from the one we used in the winter tests, and this event will let us make some interesting comparisons with the data that we collect.”

SEPANG CIRCUIT RECORDS

Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2007), 2:02.108 – 163.566 Km/h
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2009), 2:00.518 – 165.724 Km/h
Circuit Length: 5.548 km
MotoGP Race 2011: 20 laps (110.960 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2011: 4:00 p.m. Local Time

2010 PODIUM: 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Andrea Dovizioso, 3rd Jorge Lorenzo
2010 POLE: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2010), 2:01.537, 164.335 Km/h

DUCATI TEAM’S BEST RESULTS AT SEPANG
2010: 6th (Hayden)
2009: 1st (Stoner)
2008: 6th (Stoner)
2007: 1st (Stoner)
2006: 2nd (Capirossi)
2005: 1st (Capirossi)
2004: 6th (Capirossi)
2003: 6th (Capirossi)

DUCATI TEAM – RIDER INFO

VALENTINO ROSSI
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP11.1
Race number: 46
Age: 32 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
GPs: 257 (197 x MotoGP, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi’s MotoGP track record at Sepang
2010: Grid: 6th; Race: 1st
2009: Grid: 1st; Race: 3rd
2008: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2007: Grid: 9th; Race: 5th
2006: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2005: Grid: 7th; Race: 2nd
2004: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2003: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2002: Grid: 8th; Race: 2nd
2001: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2000: Grid: 7th; Race: DNF

Rossi’s 250 track record at Sepang
1999: Grid: 1st; Race: 5th

NICKY HAYDEN

Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP11.1
Race number: 69
Age: 30 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 150 (150 x MotoGP)
First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden’s MotoGP track record at Sepang
2010: Grid: 2nd; Race: 6th
2009: Grid: 7th; Race: 5th
2008: Grid: 4th; Race: 4th
2007: Grid: 6th; Race: 9th
2006: Grid: 2th; Race: 4th
2005: Grid: 6th; Race: 4th
2004: Grid: 6th; Race: 4th
2003: Grid: 9th; Race: 4th