2011-09-27 08:36
The Ducati Team is headed for the Japanese Grand Prix, which will take place on Sunday, 2 October, following a postponement due to the terrible earthquake that struck the country on March 11.

A stop-and-go track with a predominance of slow corners that are interspersed with medium-length straightaways, the Twin Ring Motegi has played host to four Ducati Team wins and one additional podium.

Valentino Rossi has posted six podium finishes at the track, including last year’s third place following a tight battle with Jorge Lorenzo, while Nicky Hayden doesn’t count the Japanese circuit among his favorites.

Starting on Friday morning, the two riders will work to refine the setup of the GP11.1, with hopes that the weather—the forecast for which is currently uncertain—allows them to take full advantage of the sessions.

“I had a nice race last year at Motegi, despite having a painful shoulder. I had a nice duel with Lorenzo, and I finished on the podium. The Ducati won last year and has also gone well there in the past, so we’ll see if we can do any better than we have at the recent races. It’s true that we’re having to work very hard, but we always approach every Grand Prix with the goal of doing better. We’ll try hard this Sunday as well, working on the track with what we have available at this time, while also simultaneously focusing on the future.”

“I’ve got a lot of fans in Japan, and there are a lot of people who love motorcycles. It would be nice to put on a good show for them, as they’ve certainly had a hard time this year. The radiation situation seems to be under control, so earthquakes are the only concern. Hopefully we can have a good race. Motegi has probably been my worst track since I’ve been with Ducati, as I’ve struggled to get turned in those hairpin corners and get out strong. I’m not expecting an easy weekend, but Ducati is really working hard to give us options and to find the best direction for the future. It’s great to see them putting in so much effort, and although we’re not seeing immediate results, we’re learning a lot and getting a bunch of data that’s going to be a big help in the long term.”

“It’s time for the Japanese Grand Prix, where we’ll continue our work program on the GP11.1, which certainly still has a margin for improvement in terms of its setup. We introduced a modified chassis with Valentino at Aragon, and we’ll try to take better advantage of it at this particular track, while Nicky will continue getting to know the GP11.1, which he’s ridden for three races now. Motegi is a circuit where we’ve done very well in the past, so we’ll see if this helps us to speed up our work in preparation for Sunday’s race.”

Source: Ducati

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