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The Ducati Team gears up for new challenge at Zeltweg

After the three-week summer break, the Ducati Team has now arrived in Austria, at the Red Bull Ring close to Zeltweg, for the tenth round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship. MotoGP’s arrival at the spectacular Austrian circuit marks the second half of the season which will draw to a close in three months’ time in Valencia.

Immediately after Sachsenring, the Red Bull Ring was the scene for two days of private testing in preparation for the Austrian GP. The Ducati Team riders – Andrea Iannone, who this week celebrated his twenty-seventh birthday, and Andrea Dovizioso, joined on this occasion by Casey Stoner in his role as test-rider – were able to demonstrate the Desmosedici GP’s competitiveness at the ultra-fast Austrian circuit, where they took the top three places.

The race at Zeltweg will also see another appearance by Michele Pirro, who will line up as a wild-card with the third Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian, fresh off the back of two wins in the Misano round of the CIV Italian Superbike Championship, will be out on track for the seventh time in this MotoGP season.

The Austrian GP weekend will get underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 28-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 8th (63 points)
“The Red Bull Ring is a new circuit for everyone but in the tests in July we immediately got to grips with the track and we were always the quickest out there. The circuit is really nice and it adapts well to our Desmosedici GP. On this track I established a good feeling with my bike right from the start and this is a very positive aspect in view of the race.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 9th (59 points)
“The Austrian track adapts very well to our bike, with first and second gear acceleration and medium-long straights, and so for us it is quite easy to be fast. Even though we were very competitive in the tests, we will have to see what tyres Michelin will bring for the GP, because wear is very high here, you slide around a lot and the tyres will struggle to complete a race distance.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 19th (19 points)
“I am happy once again to race with my team after the last experiences as replacement for Petrucci and Baz. I like the Zeltweg track a lot, and in the tests I was able to do about 20 laps: not a lot, but in any case enough data with which to start on Friday morning. The track seems to be favourable for the characteristics of the Ducati, and so I am sure we can have a great weekend – both Andreas and myself.”

The Red Bull Ring
The Red Bull Ring circuit, formerly known as the Österreichring, is a historic track situated in Austria, close to Spielberg in the Styria region. The circuit, which was built in 1969, remained unused for many years after undergoing costly restoration work that modified the layout. The total length of the circuit is 4.318 km and the layout has ten corners, with a height difference of 65 metres. This year the Red Bull Ring will be the venue for a MotoGP race for the first time after the last world championship race was held at Zeltweg in 1997.

Fastest Lap: new layout
Circuit Record: new layout
Best Pole: new layout
Top Speed: new layout
Circuit Length: 4.318 km
Race Distance: 28 laps (120.9 km)
Corners: 10 (3 left, 7 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 30 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 249 (151 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 GP
Race Number: 29
Age: 27 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 187 (60 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)

Michele Pirro
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 51
Age: 30 (nato il 5 luglio 1986 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy)
Residence: Cesena (Italy)
Races: 90 (43 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
First GP: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Win: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)
Pole Positions: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Pole: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)

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