Valentino Rossi and team at France

Valentino Rossi and team at France

The Ducati Team is preparing for Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix at the wonderful Circuit de Catalunya, which hosts the second of four MotoGP races held in Spain this season.

The circuit is one of Valentino Rossi’s favorites, having served as the scene for nine of his victories, and while Nicky Hayden has only achieved one podium finish at the track, he also appreciates its fast, open layout.

In addition to working on a race setup, the riders and the Ducati Team engineers, headed by Filippo Preziosi, will try to confirm that the development work on the Desmosedici GP12 is heading in the right direction. On Monday, they’ll also take part in a post-race test.

“Two Sundays ago, we got a nice result because we took advantage of the wet track, a condition in which we know we can be competitive, but we’re aware that we must continue improving in normal, dry conditions. Some of the things we tried in the Mugello test last week seemed promising. It will be interesting to try them on a different track, and with must less time to set the bike up, to see if they’re really a small step forward. The Catalunya circuit has always been one of my favorites, and although it’s hard to imagine another podium, we must still do our best to finish with the front riders.”

Nicky Hayden heads to the track

Nicky Hayden heads to the track

“Although I’ve struggled a bit at Catalunya the last few years, I do like the track, and it’s one of the calendar’s great GPs. It’s pretty wide, open and fast, and it’s really important to have good edge grip, especially in the last bit with all the long right-handers. Luckily we got some good weather in Mugello and were able to test a few things with setup, and I look forward to taking them to a race to see if we’ve really done any progress.”

“First of all, I’d like to extend a thought to the people who were affected by the earthquake that struck the Emilia Romagna region, which we’re all deeply attached to, and in which Ducati and its workers are located. As for our work, we’ll continue giving our all. We’re going to Catalunya, which is a fast track with big, long corners that require good grip. It’s a good opportunity to check the work we’ve been doing. At Le Mans we confirmed that we’re competitive in the wet, but our main goal is still to reduce the gap to the front in the dry.”

Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1:42.358 – 166.251 Km/h (103.304 mph)
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1:41.186 – 168.177 Km/h (104.500 mph)
Circuit Length: 4.727 km (2.937 mi)
2012 MotoGP Race: 25 laps (118.175 km/73.431 mi)
MotoGP Schedule 2011: 2:00 p.m. Local Time
2011 PODIUM: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Ben Spies
2011 POLE: Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1:42.413 – 166.162 km/h

2011: 5th (Rossi)
2010: 3rd (Stoner)
2009: 3rd (Stoner)
2008: 3rd (Stoner)
2007: 1st (Stoner)
2006: – DNF
2005: 11th (Checa)
2004: 10th (Capirossi)
2003: 1st (Capirossi)

Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
Race number: 46
Age: 32 (born 16 February 1979 in Pesaro, Italy)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
Number of GPs: 262 (202 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12x 125cc)
First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi’s MotoGP/500cc track record at Catalunya
2011: Grid, 7th; Race, 5th
2010: Grid, DNS; Race, DNS
2009: Grid, 2nd; Race, 1st
2008: Grid, 9th; Race, 2nd
2007: Grid, 1st; Race, 2nd
2006: Grid, 1st; Race, 1st
2005: Grid, 3rd; Race, 1st
2004: Grid, 2nd; Race, 1st
2003: Grid, 1st; Race, 2nd
2002: Grid, 4th; Race, 1st
2001: Grid, 1st; Race, 1st
2000: Grid, 9th; Race, 3rd

Rossi’s 250cc track record at Catalunya
1999: Grid, 2nd; Race, 1st
1998: Grid, 2nd; Race, 1st

Rossi’s 125cc track record at Catalunya
1997: Race, 1st
1996: Race, –

Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP12
Race number: 69
Age: 29 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 155 (155 x MotoGP)
First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden’s MotoGP track record at Catalunya
2011: Grid, 8th; Race, 8th
2010: Grid, 11th; Race, 8th
2009: Grid, 13th; Race, 10th
2008: Grid: 3rd, Race, 8th
2007: Grid, 7th; Race, 11th
2006: Grid, 7th: Race, 2nd
2005: Grid, 5th; Race, 5th
2004: Grid, 3th; Race, DNS
2003: Grid, 18th; Race, 9th

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