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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati Team prepares for season finale

After a much-deserved weekend off, the Ducati Team heads to Valencia for the season’s fourth race to be held on Spanish soil and, more importantly, the final round of the eighteen-event MotoGP championship.

The team and both of its riders will be looking to make up for last year’s race, at which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were both taken out by another rider in the first turn. Since then, the circuit has been resurfaced, so it will be important to see how the tyres perform and to adjust bike setup accordingly. The event invariably attracts a large, passionate crowd, and the stadium-like backdrop makes for an exciting atmosphere.

Following the Valencia finale, the MotoGP riders and teams will enjoy just one day off before they take part in a test at the same track on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

“Valencia definitely isn’t one of my favourite circuits, apart from the fact that it’s in Spain, which always has a great atmosphere. It’s a ‘Micky Mouse’ track that’s small for MotoGP and therefore difficult and tricky. There are a bunch of left hand corners, and I normally prefer those that go to the right. Anyway, we’ll see. The asphalt was redone and that should have improved both the grip and the bumps. It will be a strange weekend that should be challenging for a few different reasons, but we’ll do our best.”

“Valencia is a track and a race that I like a lot. It’s the last round of the year, so the atmosphere is good and everyone always seems to have a little something extra. The track has been resurfaced since we were last there, and it was certainly due. We’ll have to see how it is with tyres when we get there, as new surfaces can be hard on rubber. We’ll need something that has good endurance on the left but also retains enough heat on the right. Smoother tracks are normally better for our bike. One thing we need to do better than in recent races is to make bigger improvements with the bike over the course of the weekend. My team has been working so hard all year, and I really want to end the season with a solid race for them.”

“It’s the last race, and we have the chance for Valentino to finish the season in fifth place. We’ll all do our best to help him achieve that. It’s also important that Nicky finishes the season well, because apart from the wet Malaysian race, he’s been unlucky during the final part of the season. We were unfortunate at Valencia last year in that both riders were taken out in the first-turn crash, but prior to that, we had done a decent qualifying session with the possibility of having a good race. The track has new asphalt this year, so we’ll have to see how well the data that we gathered last season applies.”


Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1:32.582 – 155.732 Km/h (96.767 mph)
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2006), 1:31.002 – 158.436 Km/h (98.448 mph)
Circuit Length: 4.005 km (2.489 mi)
2012 MotoGP Race: 30 laps (120.15 km/74.658 mi)
2012 MotoGP Schedule: 2:00 p.m. Local Time

2011 PODIUM: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Ben Spies, 3rd Andrea Dovizioso
2011 POLE: Casey Stoner (Honda), 1:31.861 – 156.954 Km/h (97.527 mph)

2011: NA
2010: 2nd (Stoner)
2009: 5th (Hayden)
2008: 1st (Stoner)
2007: 2nd (Stoner)
2006: 1st (Bayliss)
2005: 4th (Checa)
2004: 3rd (Bayliss)
2003: 3rd (Capirossi)


Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
Race number: 46
Age: 33 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
GPs: 275 (215 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 Valencia
2011: Grid, 6th; Race, DNF
2010: Grid, 4th; Race, 3rd
2009: Grid, 4th; Race, 2nd
2008: Grid, 10th; Race, 3rd
2007: Grid, 17th; Race, DNF
2006: Grid, 1st; Race, 13th
2005: Grid, 15th; Race, 3rd
2004: Grid, 3rd; Race, 1st
2003: Grid, 1st; Race, 1st
2002: Grid, 6th; Race, 2nd,
2001: Grid, 2nd; Race 11th
2000: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF

Rossi’s 250 track record at Valencia
1999: Grid: 4th; Race: 8th

Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
Race number: 69
Age: 31 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 166 (166 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 Valencia
2011: Grid, 7th; Race, DNF
2010: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF
2009: Grid, 6th; Race, 5th
2008: Grid, 3rd; Race, 5th
2007: Grid, 3rd; Race, 8th
2006: Grid, 5th; Race, 3rd
2005: Grid, 3rd; Race, 2nd
2004: Grid, 5th; Race, DNF
2003: Grid, 4th; Race, 16th