The Ducati Team, having carried out two days of testing at Mugello last week, now heads to France for the second European stop on the 2013 MotoGP tour, at Le Mans. The venue is legendary in motorsports, and although the Bugatti Circuit that hosts the bikes only shares a small section of the longer Circuit de la Sarthe that is used for the historic 24 hour automobile race, it nonetheless presents its own challenges, including many hard-braking zones that could suit some characteristics of the Desmosedici GP13.
Although this will be Andrea Dovizioso’s first visit to the track aboard the Ducati, the Italian has enjoyed good performances at the French circuit, earning his first Grand Prix pole position there in 2003 (in the 125cc class), along with a pair of premier-class podium finishes, in 2010 and 2011. Nicky Hayden doesn’t include Le Mans on his list of favourite circuits, but he’s hopeful of a respectable performance, particularly if his still-recovering right wrist is in better condition than it was in Spain.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team
“The conditions at Le Mans are always tricky, in part because it’s typically raining! Still, I think it’s a good track for Ducati, and it’s a really good track for me. That being the case, we should go there with confidence and see if we can understand a little bit about where we can improve, although for the moment, we still shouldn’t think too much about the result.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“We’ve had a couple of days off after a very busy week, so I was able to head north and regroup. Honestly, I’ve struggled at Le Mans, but one of the keys to the track is hard braking, which is a strong point of the Desmosedici. We’ve seen a lot of spectators at the last couple of races, and I imagine that will also be true at Le Mans. My wrist has improved since Jerez, and although it’s still not perfect, I expect to have less pain in France. Hopefully we can have some fun and do a good race.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“Le Mans is a particular circuit with a stop-and-go layout that’s much different from the tracks where we’ve raced so far this season, and we’ve gone well there in recent seasons, with podium finishes the last two years. We’re coming off of a busy week of testing, during which we were able to try some things with our setup that we hadn’t explored before. It would be nice if the weather allowed us to take advantage of a dry track all weekend, although that’s not often the case at Le Mans.”
Le Mans Circuit Records