Mugello : Ducati - Day 3
Ducati Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi finished today's Italian Grand Prix in a close fourth place and seventh place to retain their advantage in the riders', constructors' and teams' World Championships as the 2007 MotoGP series reached
The pair enjoyed a brilliant start to the race, World Championship leader and pole-position man Stoner completing the opening lap in first place, just ahead of Capirossi. Stoner led the first three laps, Capirossi the next two, but then both men slipped back slightly.
Stoner spent much of the remainder of the race in third place, ending up fourth after fellow Ducati rider Alex Barros went past in the closing stages. Capirossi, racing for the first time with a new engine spec in his GP7, battled long and hard for sixth place, crossing the line in seventh spot.
CASEY STONER, 4th place : "That was a very difficult race. After warm-up we knew we would struggle a bit but I thought maybe we could make the podium. We were really close to a top-three result but we didn't quite manage it. Anyway, I'd like to say thank you to the team because we tried everything we could this weekend but unfortunately the conditions weren't perfect for us, with so much rain during practice. We learned some more lessons that will make us come back stronger at Barcelona next weekend. The biggest difficulty we had today was turning in the long corners and we also lacked a bit of traction. But, as I said, we should be able to solve these problems before the next race and score a better result."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 7th place : "I gave everything I had today and things were going well at the start. Then I had two big moments, first at Arrabbiata 1, then at Arrabbiata 2. I lost the front and risked falling, so that lost me some confidence in the front and I wasn't able to maintain such a fast pace, I had to slow my rhythm.
Unfortunately, the strange weather conditions during the weekend didn't allow us to work the way we wanted to on my new engine spec. I used the new spec today because Ducati had done such a good job in giving me more rideability but we lacked some speed. Anyway, it was good to be up front again and we will work to improve some more during practice at Barcelona next weekend".
CLAUDIO DOMENICALI, CEO Ducati Corse : "The race didn't go as we had expected, we were aiming for a better result, even though we had two Ducatis in the first four. The weekend's extremely changeable weather conditions didn't allow us to find the ideal set-up to allow our riders to get the maximum from their bikes. In particular the bike/tyre combination wasn't perfect for the faster turns, which are fundamental to fast lap times at Mugello. Anyway, Loris was very competitive in the early stages, and we will continue working with him to get the best set-up for his new engine spec at Barcelona. Once again I was amazed by Casey's coolness and determination in getting so close to the podium. He confirmed once more that he's consistent as well as fast, and quite able to manage a race when he cannot fight for the win."