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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati Marlboro Team – San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP – Free Practice

The Ducati Marlboro Team returned from their exertions on the other side of the Atlantic and went straight back to work today as the twelfth round of the MotoGP World Championship got underway at Misano, just five days after packing up at Indianapolis.

The challenge for the teams and riders lies as much in adapting their machine set-up to the demands of the Italian circuit as it does to dealing with jetlag and physical tirednes, Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner clocking up 45 laps between them in today’s opening free practice session as they searched for a suitable base setting. The Ducati Marlboro pair ended up seventh and eighth fastest respectively, separated by just 0.044 seconds.

NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) 7th (1’36.028)
“That wasn’t the smoothest session we ever had and I’m losing a lot on T3. I hoped to start out a bit closer to the top than that. We need to look for some tenths, maybe by finding some better turning in the front and also adjusting the gearbox a bit better. To be honest it’s not one big area we have to improve very much but small improvements in a few different areas. We also had a little issue with the fairing, which came a bit loose and my leathers got caught on it so I had to get back to the pit. We were trying something and after that I had basically one chance to make a good lap so we are not sure it is the right direction, which was a bit of a bummer. We are going to try it again tomorrow morning but this is a big weekend for us and we will try to move up the order.”

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 8th (1’36.072)

“That was a difficult session for us, basically because we didn’t have any information from last year because I didn’t race here. The characteristics of the current engine are very different to the one we used in 2008 so it requires a completely different gearbox set-up and obviously that affects a lot of different things. We took a bit of a shot in the dark with what we thought would work but unfortunately it wasn’t quite right and we had to spend a lot of time today making adjustments. Hopefully the data we gathered can give us a much better idea of where to start from tomorrow and I’m sure we can quickly close the gap to the guys at the top. It is too early to worry but we need to make a lot of progress in the sessions that remain before what is a very important race for everybody at Ducati.”

Circuit Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2009), 1’34.746 – 160.572 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’33.378 – 162.924 km/h

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