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French Grand Prix up next for Ducati Team

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

Lap record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2011), 1:33.617 – 160.932 Km/h (99.999 mph)
Best pole: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1:32.647 – 162.617 Km/h (101.045 mph)
Track length: 4.185 km/2.600 mi
2013 MotoGP race: 28 laps (117.180 km/72.812 mi)
2013 MotoGP race time: 2 p.m. local time
2012 podium: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Casey Stoner
2012 pole: Dani Pedrosa (Honda), 1:33.638 – 160.896 Km/h (99.976 mph)
2012 fastest lap: (lap 21) Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:44.614 – 144.015 Km/h (89.487 mph)
Ducati Team results at Le Mans (best finish)
2012: 2nd (Rossi)
2011: 3rd (Rossi)
2010: 4th (Hayden)
2009: 5th (Stoner)
2008: 15th (Melandri)
2007: 3rd (Stoner)
2006: 2nd (Capirossi)
2005: 7th (Capirossi)
2004: 8th (Bayliss)
2003: DNF
Ducati Team – Rider Info
Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP13
Race number: 04
Age: 27 (born in Forlimpopoli, Italy, 23 March 1986)
Residence: Forlì, Italy
Number of GPs: 189 (91 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Number of wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First GP win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Championships: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Dovizioso’s MotoGP results at Le Mans
2012: Qualifying, 3rd; Race, 7th
2011: Qualifying, 3rd; Race, 2nd
2010: Qualifying, 7th; Race, 3rd
2009: Qualifying, 5th; Race, 4th
2008: Qualifying, 10th; Race, 6th
Nicky Hayden
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP13
Race number: 69
Age: 31 (born in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA, 30 July 1981)
Residence: Owensboro (Kentucky, USA)
Number of GPs: 170 (170 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2003 Japanese GP (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: 2005 USA GP (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First pole: 2005 USA GP (MotoGP)
World Championships: 1 (6 x MotoGP, 2006)
Hayden’s MotoGP results at Le Mans
2012: Grid, 11th; Race, 6th
2011: Grid, 10th; Race, 7th
2010: Grid, 5th; Race, 4th
2009: Grid, 13th; Race, 12th
2008: Grid, 6th; Race, 8th
2007: Grid, 7th; Race, DNF
2006: Grid, 10th; Race, 5th
2005: Grid, 5th; Race, 6th
2004: Grid, 7th; Race, 11th
2003: Grid, 13th; Race, 12th
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