Le Mans : Ducati - Race
Loris Capirossi summoned all his riding powers to secure a second place finish for the Ducati Marlboro Team at the French MotoGP race, making a determined move forward from third on the very last lap of a dramatic race.
Ducati Marlboro Team rider
Sete Gibernau was pushed off the track in a first lap incident but stayed upright and recovered his composure quickly, going from 16th on lap one to eighth at the end.
Capirossi, who had run most of the race in fourth position, was instantly promoted to third when Valentino Rossi's machine stopped while leading on lap 21, and this also advanced Gibernau from his long time ninth to eighth place. Capirossi, with eventual third placed rider Dani Pedrosa in his sights as the laps counted down, pushed his way to second on the last lap and repulsed a last corner counterattack from Pedrosa to take second, only 1.929 seconds from the win.
It was Capirossi's 32nd career podium, and puts him third in the championship, equal second on points with Le Mans race winner Marco Melandri, on 79 points. Capirossi's third also gave Ducati a first Le Mans podium finish. It was his third podium this year, after his win at Jerez and his third place in Qatar.
Gibernau's recovery in the race sees him ninth overall, on 33 points, with the series led by Nicky Hayden, on 83.
LORIS CAPIROSSI, finished second, third overall (79 points)
"When I was riding with Marco I saw that Valentino was out, so I thought that I would be on the podium right then.
Then I saw Marco catching Dani, so on the last few laps I tried to keep with him and see if it was possible to overtake Dani on the last lap. I did it and kept him behind me, so this second position is very good for me. I used the tyre we tested yesterday and I knew I could keep a pace in the high 1'35s, and I maintained this pace all through the race, and never gave up. This track is not one of the best for us, in the rain it seems to be better, but we finished on the podium in second, and got really good championship points. Thanks to the whole Ducati team and the Bridgestone guys."
SETE GIBERNAU, finished eighth, ninth overall (33 points)
"We did not so bad and congratulations to Loris. The result he got means that Bridgestone did a good job. At the first corner someone went way too deep and threw me off of the track, so that was my race decided. It was difficult to find my rhythm after that but from then on I just tried to catch up. We need to keep working on the set- up a little bit but I felt much more comfortable today. We made a step forward again and now I have to look forward. It was one more race in which we improved things."
LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP Project Manager
"That was an unbelievable job from Loris. Today he made the difference. He was able to keep 120% of what he had. This is the Loris we like, and we are proud to have him on board. It was a pity for Sete to be so unlucky in the first corner, and it must have been difficult for his motivation, but he proved that he is a good rider after his fight back and that we have a good package, so he will also have good days. We also really have to thank Bridgestone, who did a great job, as well as Shell Advance. This morning, in the wet warm-up, we were dominant, and in the dry race we finished second."