Capirossi fights to fifth
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner continued his relentlessly magnificent form at Misano today, taking the factory's first-ever MotoGP victory on home tarmac. Loris Capirossi also rode a strong race, fighting through to fifth place from 13th
on the grid.
Stoner's eighth success of the year was also his second consecutive start-to-finish victory and completes a hat-trick of wins, as well as extending his World Championship lead to 85 points and increasing Ducati's advantage in the constructors' championship and stretching the Ducati Marlboro Team's lead in the teams' championship.
The Australian got the holeshot from pole position and after resisting early pressure from runner-up Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins he extended his advantage to 1.8 seconds at half-distance, after setting a new lap record, and to 4.8 seconds at the chequered flag.
Capirossi got a brilliant start from the fifth row to complete the first lap in fifth spot, spending most of the 28 laps battling with Marco Melandri.
CASEY STONER, winner, World Championship leader on 271 points
"I'm still taking the championship race by race. It was unfortunate what happened to Valentino [Rossi, DNF] and to Dani [Pedrosa, DNF] today, but I was out in front doing my own thing, I had enough pressure myself. It took a lot of concentration to not make any mistakes because it was really hot and hard work today. This was very nice win for me. Yesterday I wasn't so confident, but when we arrived on the grid today we were quite confident with the setting and everything worked well, we got a good start and we were able to get a good advantage. If there was a group up front my plan was to separate the group so there were less riders to battle with, I expected it to be a very difficult race. The team did a great job all weekend, they really pulled through for me.
And after a race like this I'd really like to thank my trainer Anthony who I work with every time I have a bit of time off. The second part of the season is when I usually get stronger, so I hope we can be stronger at the next races but we'll see what happens. The more I ride My Ducati the more comfortable I become and the faster I become."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 5th place, 8th in World Championship on 98 points
"It has been a difficult weekend and yesterday I never thought it would've been possible to get fifth place. We struggled a lot with our set-up - I wasn't quick enough through the slow corners because I wasn't able to get the bike turned so well. But during morning warm-up we made a big change to the setting and my feeling improved a lot. We decided to make another small step in that direction for the race and for sure the bike was the best it's been all weekend. Starting from the fifth row was difficult but I got a good start, fought with Marco and finally I finished fifth. It's not a bad result considering how the rest of the weekend went."
Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO Ducati Motor Holding
"This is the first time that Ducati has won a MotoGP race in Italy. It's a fantastic feeling, there is great enthusiasm for this success and we are really happy. This victory is the merit of a great champion like Casey but it's also the merit of a team that's full of fantastic people: Claudio (Domenicali), Filippo (Preziosi) Livio (Suppo) and all the other people involved in this project in the team and at Borgo Panigale. Today I saw the emotion in everyone's eyes. Winning in Italy, extending Casey's advantage to 85 points, well, now we can seriously hope of achieving something very important. To see Ducati, an Italian factory, in front of everybody is something to be very proud of."