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Ducati Team prepare for tropical Sepang heat in Shell Malaysia Grand Prix

Ducati Team 102015

Coming off the back of two races in the last two weeks, the Ducati Team have arrived in Malaysia for the final appointment in this gruelling series of three end-of-season flyaway events, which will see the MotoGP teams notching 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 for today’s powerful 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, with high humidity and a permanent haze caused by forest fires in nearby Indonesia.

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 six races there, the last time in 2010. Last year he finished in eighth place after qualifying fifth.

Andrea Iannone comes to Malaysia off the back of a sensational performance at Phillip Island that gave him his third podium finish of the year, but this will only be his second MotoGP race at Sepang. Last year he was forced to miss the event when he injured his left arm during free practice. His best result here is a third place in 2010 in the Moto2 category.

With two rounds to go before the end of the championship, Iannone is currently lying fourth overall with 188 points, while Dovizioso is seventh on 153.

The Sepang weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 09.55 (03.55 CET), while the 20-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 15.00 (08.00 CET).

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th (188 points)
“The GP15 made a positive debut on this track in February and it will be interesting to see how much we have improved throughout the year, and so I am happy to return to Sepang for the race. After the race at Phillip Island, we are even more confident, and we go to Sepang convinced that we can also do well there, even though it will not be easy because Sepang is a difficult track, temperatures are very high and we know that the other riders also go well here. However we are improving all the time and I too am getting to know my GP15 and its behaviour even better, so I can be even more efficient in the race.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th (153 points)
“For sure at Sepang we will be quicker than in Australia, because the Malaysian circuiti s one of my favourites and in the tests in February we immediately went well with the GP15 we had just debutted on-track, and so I am sure we will be competitive. Malaysia always has difficult conditions, with high temperatures and grip, and it won’t be easy to get the right set-up for the race, but I am convinced we will be a lot closer to the front guys. I’m also pleased that we are doing a race immediately after such a disappointing one in Australia, because it’s better for my mood!”

The Sepang Circuit
The Sepang International Circuit, 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 is one of the longest on the calendar.

Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’59.791 (166.5 km/h) – 2014
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 2’01.150 (164.7 km/h) – 2014
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’59.791 (166.5 km/h) – 2014
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 329.6 km/h – 2014
Track Length: 5.5 km
Race Distance: 20 laps (110.9 km)
Corners: 15 (5 left, 10 right)
Race Start: 15.00 (08.00 CET)

2014 Results
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Rossi (Yamaha), 3rd Lorenzo (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’59.791 (166.5 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 2’01.150 (164.711 km/h)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP15
Race Number: 04
Age: 29 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 238 (140 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)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Andrea Iannone
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP15
Race Number: 29
Age: 26 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 176 (49 x MotoGP, 51 x Moto2, 76 x 125cc)
First GP: 2005 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 12 (8 x Moto2, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2008 GP of China (125cc)
Pole Positions: 9 (1 x MotoGP, 5 x Moto2, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2008 GP of Malaysia (125cc)

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