After a much-deserved weekend off, the Ducati Team heads to Valencia for the season’s fourth race to be held on Spanish soil and, more importantly, the final round of the eighteen-event MotoGP championship. The team and both of its riders will be looking to make up for last year’s race, at which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were both taken out by another rider in the first turn. Since then, the circuit has been resurfaced, so it will be important to see how the tyres perform and to adjust bike setup accordingly. The event invariably attracts a large, passionate crowd, and the stadium-like backdrop makes for an exciting atmosphere.
Following the Valencia finale, the MotoGP riders and teams will enjoy just one day off before they take part in a test at the same track on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
Valentino Rossi – Ducati Team
“Valencia definitely isn’t one of my favourite circuits, apart from the fact that it’s in Spain, which always has a great atmosphere. It’s a ‘Micky Mouse’ track that’s small for MotoGP and therefore difficult and tricky. There are a bunch of left hand corners, and I normally prefer those that go to the right. Anyway, we’ll see. The asphalt was redone and that should have improved both the grip and the bumps. It will be a strange weekend that should be challenging for a few different reasons, but we’ll do our best.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“Valencia is a track and a race that I like a lot. It’s the last round of the year, so the atmosphere is good and everyone always seems to have a little something extra. The track has been resurfaced since we were last there, and it was certainly due. We’ll have to see how it is with tyres when we get there, as new surfaces can be hard on rubber. We’ll need something that has good endurance on the left but also retains enough heat on the right. Smoother tracks are normally better for our bike. One thing we need to do better than in recent races is to make bigger improvements with the bike over the course of the weekend. My team has been working so hard all year, and I really want to end the season with a solid race for them.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“It’s the last race, and we have the chance for Valentino to finish the season in fifth place. We’ll all do our best to help him achieve that. It’s also important that Nicky finishes the season well, because apart from the wet Malaysian race, he’s been unlucky during the final part of the season. We were unfortunate at Valencia last year in that both riders were taken out in the first-turn crash, but prior to that, we had done a decent qualifying session with the possibility of having a good race. The track has new asphalt this year, so we’ll have to see how well the data that we gathered last season applies.”