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Oct 16, 2013

Ducati MotoGP Riders Prepared To Face Challenges Of Phillip Island Circuit

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Nicky Hayden (69).
Ducati Team Heads Down Under to Phillip Island

With a difficult Malaysian Grand Prix having been completed just days ago, the Ducati Team is now in Australia, where they hope for a more positive weekend at Phillip Island Circuit, site of Round 16 in the MotoGP World Championship and the middle leg of a busy overseas tripleheader.

Situated on the Bass Straight in the state of Victoria, the popular track features an anticlockwise layout that includes a number of thrilling high-speed corners. Unpredictable weather conditions notwithstanding, the event is popular with teams, riders and fans alike, and with the track surface having received a fresh layer of asphalt last December, this year’s Australian Grand Prix promises thrilling racing.

Since joining the championship in 2003, the Ducati Team has tallied four victories at Phillip Island, all at the hands of Casey Stoner, although the last two years have been more difficult. Nicky Hayden loves the circuit and in fact still holds the race-lap record he earned aboard a Honda in 2008, although he and his team face a challenging situation with the five-engine limit following his mechanical problem in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso has garnered three podium results across three classes, including a 2004 victory in the 125cc division.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team
“Phillip Island is a really challenging track for everyone. Normally, the conditions are very difficult with the wind and cold. The circuit is completely different from Sepang in terms of temperature, track layout and grip. The tyre wears a lot on the left side, so I’m not sure what to expect from my Ducati on a track like this. As far as my results here are concerned, unfortunately they’re nothing too special: just one win in the 125 class.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“Phillip Island is one of the best tracks in the championship. It’s been repaved for this year, so we’ll see how much smoother and faster it is now. In the past, I’ve gone really well there, but we’re not on our best form or catching many breaks at the moment. We’ll see what the weather’s going to be like. The mornings can be quite cool and a lot different than the race, which makes it challenging for bike setup. There are a lot more lefthanders than right, so tyre wear on the left is very important, but at the same time, getting heat in the tyres in the mornings is a problem. I love Australia and look forward to it.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“Phillip Island is a track that has surprises in store nearly every year because the weather is really difficult to predict. We hope it won’t be too cold as we’ve experienced on some occasions, because that makes things hard to manage for both the riders and us. We also face an additional challenge in that we have to manage Nicky’s engine situation after the problem at Sepang. Still, both riders like the track, so we hope to have a decent race.”