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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati Team prepare to face the tropical heat of Sepang in the Shell Advance Malaysian GP

Coming off the back of two races in two successive weekends, the Ducati Team have arrived in Malaysia for the third and final appointment in this gruelling series of three overseas flyaway events at the end of the season, which will mean that the MotoGP teams have notched up around 35,000 kilometres of air travel in less than a month.

The seventeenth and penultimate round of the season will be held at the Sepang International Circuit, a track that most of the riders enjoy, and which can boast a series of features that make it ideal to unleash the power of modern-day MotoGP bikes: long straights, a wide track surface and plenty of opportunities for overtaking. All the teams came to Malaysia for two IRTA winter test sessions in February, but the conditions were very different to those forecast for this weekend.

The Ducati Team have won three times at Sepang, thanks to Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner. In the premier class Andrea Dovizioso has stepped onto the podium twice in Malaysia in his five races there, the last time in 2010, while Cal Crutchlow has not gone any higher than a sixth place last year in his two races at Sepang.

After his fourth place finish at Phillip Island on Sunday, Dovizioso has a firm grip on fifth in the overall standings with 166 points (a lead of 49 over Aleix Espargaro), while Crutchlow, who came close to the runner-up slot in the Australian GP, is now in thirteenth place with 63 points.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“We go to Malaysia very happy with the fourth place from Phillip Island and confident of getting another good result. Obviously the Sepang circuit is completely different to Phillip Island and even though we were able to lap the track on two occasions during the winter tests, the times set in February do not have much bearing at this point of the season. Sepang is a circuit that I enjoy a lot and I think it will be more suitable for our Desmosedici.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“Sepang is a completely different track to the last one, and obviously there’s more chance of us having heat issues with the tyres and not cold issues! After the Phillip Island race, when I made a mistake on the last lap while heading for second, I was obviously very disappointed, but now I want to try and get a good result in Malaysia. I have good confidence now with the GP14 and hopefully we can push a lot harder in these last two races.”

The Sepang Circuit
The Sepang International Circuit, which is situated about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpur, is one of the best and most spectacular tracks in the world. It was constructed at the heart of a 2,300 acre complex which also houses a hotel, a shopping centre, a golf course and other sports facilities. It was built in just 14 months at a cost of £50m and sets the standards for racetracks worldwide. With four slow corners following two long straights and ten medium to high-speed curves, the wide track provides plenty of room for overtaking and full throttle. Intense heat and humidity provide extra problems when racing at this circuit, which with a lap distance of over five kilometres, is one of the longest on the calendar.

Fastest lap: 2013 Marquez (Honda), 2’01.415 (164.500 km/h)
Qualifying: 2013 Marquez (Honda), 2’00.011 (166.424 km/h)
Track length: 5.548 km
Race length: 20 laps (110.960 km)
Corners: 15 (5 left, 10 right)
Race start: 4 pm (GMT +8)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 04
Age: 28 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 220 (122 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 15 (2 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Cal Crutchlow
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 35
Age: 28 (born on 29 October 1985 in Coventry, UK)
Residence: Isle of Man
Races: 67 (67 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2011 Qatar
Poles: 2
First pole: 2013 Assen TT

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