Two days of official MotoGP testing marking the start of the 2019 championship season have come to a close at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste (Valencia).
Once again the field of riders could only go out late in the morning, after the track had completely dried out following another night of rain in Valencia.
The two factory Ducati Team riders focussed their work load on the 2019 version of the Desmosedici GP, obtaining positive feedback, and at the end of the session Andrea Dovizioso was second quickest with a time of 1’30.890, while Danilo Petrucci ended the day in fifth place with a best lap of 1’30.959.
They were joined on track by Michele Pirro, who following a crash and a worsening of the pain in his right shoulder, only completed 14 laps with a best time of 1’32.376
The MotoGP teams and riders will be back in action next week at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain where the last two days of official testing this year are scheduled for 28 and 29 November.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd – 57 laps – 1’30.890
“Today went better than yesterday because we were able to do a lot of tests, including back-to-back ones, during which we found some interesting solutions. These were small details and now we want to try them in different conditions and on another track to get some more precise feedback. These two days of tests at Valencia have been very positive and now we will try and confirm the same sensations at Jerez.”
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) – 5th – 60 laps – 1’30.959
“I’m pleased with this second day of tests because we were able to try a lot of things and we were always pretty fast, up near the top of the timesheets. I was able to lap consistently with excellent times, even though we didn’t do many tests with different set-ups, and this means that the 2019 bike has a good base. In the end, I only missed out on a quick lap, but I’m very pleased with the way the team is working, with even more engineers helping me, and this made all the difference.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 19th – 14 laps – 1’32.376
“Today I didn’t do many laps, just 14 in total, when the track wasn’t very fast, but we still managed to do a test that gave us some very useful information. Unfortunately, the problem with my right shoulder, which has worsened since Sunday, didn’t allow me to work well and I crashed again. In ten days’ time I’ll finally be able to have an operation and then I want to turn over a new page.”
Thursday, 22 November 2018 08:53 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Eight months after the start of the 2018 championship season, which kicked off at the Losail circuit in Qatar in March, the MotoGP teams and riders have arrived in Spain for the nineteenth and final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, which is held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, on the outskirts of Valencia.
Thanks to the results obtained in the previous round at Sepang, Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati come to Valencia with second place in the Riders’ and Constructors’ standings firmly in the bag, while Jorge Lorenzo intends to conclude his partnership with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer in the best possible way, despite the aftermath of his recent injury. In any case 2018 has been another positive year for Ducati with six wins to its name – three for each rider – together with four seconds and two thirds.
Dovizioso has ten starts to his name at Valencia in MotoGP, with his best result being a third place in 2011, while last year the Italian rider crashed six laps from the end while in third place. Jorge Lorenzo has taken part in nine editions of the Valencia GP, winning four of them and demonstrating total supremacy in 2015 and 2016.
It will be the third race of the year on the Desmosedici GP for Michele Pirro, after Misano and the Sepang round, where he replaced Lorenzo. The Italian rider has taken part in five Valencia GPs in the MotoGP category, scoring a best result of fifth in 2012, while the year before Michele was able to win in Moto2.
Ducati has scored two MotoGP wins at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.
After 18 races, Dovizioso is second overall in the Riders’ standings with 220 points while Lorenzo lies in tenth with 130. Pirro, who has taken part in just two races this season, is in twenty-seventh place with 1 point.
The Valencia weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 09.55 CET, while the 27-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (220 points)
“Sixth place at Sepang meant that I finished second in the championship and we wanted to bring home this very important result at all costs. Now at Valencia we come up against a track where in the past we have struggled quite a bit: this year however I expect us to be fast and the race will also be an important test to understand in which areas we have to improve to be more competitive next year.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (130 points)
“We have arrived at the last race of the season and even though I still won’t be 100% fit, I would really like to finish my adventure in Ducati with a good result. It’s difficult to know what condition my left wrist will be in, but luckily I feel much better than in Sepang and on Friday morning I’ll go out on track with the hope that I won’t have too much pain and that I can be competitive. My two years in Ducati have been very intense and I’d really like to say goodbye to my team with a good race. For sure our fans, who always come out in force at Cheste, will also help to make this weekend special.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 27th (1 point)
“I’m happy to be back on track for the last round of the season and be able to work all weekend with my squad and the guys in the test team. As always, we’ll try and do a good job and bring home as much information as possible. We recently went testing here at Valencia and so we’ve got a good starting base. Let’s hope we can enjoy ourselves and finish - with a good race - a season that after my crash at Mugello has seen me recover really well.”
The Valencia circuit
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit at Cheste, which was built in 1999, hosted its first Grand Prix the same year. The track has several different configurations, with varying lengths, and all of them lap in a counter-clockwise direction. Although the track itself is relatively tight and compact, the massive grandstands all around can contain more than 150,000 spectators. The circuit layout helps to create a unique atmosphere, both for the riders and the enthusiastic Spanish fans, who always fill the stadium for the last GP of the season.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’31.171 (158.1 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati) 335.9 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.0 km
Race Distance: 27 laps (108.1 km)
Corners: 14 (9 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso powered to a splendid pole position this afternoon in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, which will be held tomorrow at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The Italian, who had also been quickest in the morning’s FP3 run, then went out in Q2, in which he set a time of 1’44.590 in his second exit. Today’s pole is the second of the season for Dovizioso, his seventh in MotoGP and also the seventh pole of the 2018 season for Ducati.
The Japanese GP will get underway tomorrow afternoon at 14.00 local time (07.00 CET) and will be held over a distance of 24 laps.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (1’44.590)
“My qualifying session went very well and I’m happy with the feeling I had during my pole run. We’ve got a good pace, but so has Marquez and not only him. I think we still have to improve something if we want to fight for the win tomorrow, so we’ll analyse the data to see what the tyre wear is like, because probably we’ll be able to adopt a different strategy than in the last two races, where we had to save the tyre for the final few laps. We went strongly both with the soft and the medium, and we haven’t decided yet which one to use. I want to thank my team for their great job, because with a few small modifications we were able to make a big improvement and in qualifying I did a really great lap. This morning my aim was to set a time of 1’44.6 and I ended up lapping in 1’44.5!”
Saturday, 20 October 2018 16:43 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Andrea Dovizioso headed the field on the opening day of free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, which will be held this weekend at the Motegi circuit. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider was the quickest in the morning’s dry FP1 session with a time of 1’45.353, and he then opted not to go out on track again in FP2 because of the rain that fell in the early afternoon.
This morning Jorge Lorenzo only completed two laps of the Japanese circuit before returning to the pits to stop because of the pain in his left wrist, which was injured in a crash two weeks ago at Buriram. The Spanish rider yesterday underwent a CT scan in Utsunomiya Hospital which unfortunately was not positive for his ongoing recovery from the hairline fracture. In the evening Lorenzo will have a further MR scan which should give medical staff all the information necessary to decide on the best possible treatment for the rider to speed up his recovery and determine how much time will be required before he returns to the races.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (1’45.353)
“This morning we immediately started off very well in the FP1 session and my feeling was very good. For the race we will still have to improve but starting off with such a good base on Friday morning really makes a difference. We already know what to work on and the braking is surely the most important aspect in this circuit. We didn’t go out in the afternoon, even though we wanted to try a few things, but the track conditions made it too much of a risk to try and push hard. In any case our Desmosedici GP works particularly well here at Motegi and tomorrow we hope to find the track dry so as to be able to work for the race.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99)
“After doing as much as possible to quickly recover from the injury to my wrist caused by the crash in Thailand, today I tried to go out on track to see how I felt on the bike. Yesterday my feelings weren’t very positive and unfortunately today I had confirmation not only of the pain that the riding was giving me, but also that there was a serious risk of making the fracture worse. It’s a real pity not to be able to race here because Motegi is a circuit that I like a lot, it adapts well to the characteristics of the bike and I wanted to score a good result. I feel really bad for my team and for the fans, but now I only have to be patient and try and recover as best as possible to be ready in Australia or in Malaysia.”
Friday, 19 October 2018 16:53 Published in Rider and Team Releases
It will be a front row start for Andrea Dovizioso in the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, which is being held this weekend at the Buriram circuit. The Ducati Team rider, fastest in both the morning’s FP3 session and FP4 in the afternoon, then went third quickest in the all-important Q2 run with a best time of 1’30.227, just a fraction behind poleman Marquez and Rossi.
Following yesterday’s crash in FP2 his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo on the other hand did not go out on track today. The results of the scan he underwent in Buriram hospital revealed that the Spanish rider, as well as the bruising to his right ankle and his left wrist, also suffered a hairline fracture of the distal radius of his left arm. In agreement with medical staff and his team, Jorge decided not to take part in today’s sessions and tomorrow’s race so as not to incur any further risks and to try and recover with the aim of being 100% fit for the GP of Japan in two weeks’ time.
The Thailand GP, which will be run over a distance of 26 laps, will get underway tomorrow at 09.00 CET (14.00 local time).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (1’30.227)
“Qualifying went really well: my goal was to start from the front row and on this type of track that’s never easy. I knew that we were quick enough, but putting in a clean lap when there are many riders out there is always complicated and so I’m satisfied with that. We have worked very well over these last two days: yesterday morning in FP1 I didn’t have a good feeling and instead now we’re amongst the riders with the best pace, even though tomorrow in the race we won’t be able to push that hard because we have to try and manage the tyre wear in the best way.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99)
“After my crash and the results of yesterday’s final tests, I decided in agreement with the team and the doctors to not take part anymore in this weekend’s race at Buriram. The CT scan revealed a hairline fracture in my left wrist and, in view of the condition I was when I arrived and the way I’m feeling now, I think it’s better I don’t race here in Thailand and try and recover as much as possible for the next GP in Japan. I feel really bad for the team but, also in consideration of my situation in the championship, it wouldn’t make sense to take any further risks so I think I’ve made the right decision.”
Saturday, 06 October 2018 19:52 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Ducati in Thailand
Lorenzo has had a run of three consecutive poles positions, something he hasn’t done for six years and something that hasn’t happened for Ducati since 2008 with Stoner.
Dovizioso's second place in Aragón was his fourth consecutive podium and his best-ever run of results of his entire sporting career: he has two victories, a second and a third, for a total of 86 points out of a possible 100.
Ducati is familiar with victory at the Chang International Circuit, as they won the second Superbike race this year with Chaz Davies.
Dovizioso’s Ducati reached 334.30 Km/h during the pre-season test, which was the highest speed recorded at the Buriram track.
Thailand is hosting a GP for the first time in history. It is being held at the Chang International Circuit which has the moniker ‘The destination of speed.’ The name of the circuit comes from its main sponsor, Chang Beer.
The layout has a total of 12 corners and 7 braking points, with two very different areas. The first half consists of long straights and ‘stop & go’ style braking, and the second half is a series of connecting corners.
The strongest braking occurs coming into turn 3, which goes from 330 km/h to 75 km/h over a distance of 240 meters in 5.5 seconds.
The straight that leads to turn 3 is 1,000 meters long, making it the 5th longest of the entire calendar, behind COTA, Mugello, Argentina and Montmeló.
The asphalt temperature, which can reach 60ºC, is one of the most worrisome factors, since the tyres can reach over 150ºC which causes them to lose grip, skid, and rise in temperature even more.
1’29.781 is the fastest lap by a MotoGP machine at the Buriram track.
0.948 seconds separated the first and the 16th finisher in the pre-season tests.
The Thai circuit is located in the small town of Buriram, 410 km northeast of Bangkok. The name of the city means "City of Happiness".
Thursday, 04 October 2018 10:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The factory Ducati Team riders powered to the top two positions on the grid in this afternoon’s qualifying session for the Aragon Grand Prix. At the end of an exciting 15-minute run, Jorge Lorenzo grabbed the pole in the final seconds with a time of 1’46.881, just a fraction ahead of his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
Saturday, 22 September 2018 17:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Andrea Dovizioso dominated the San Marino GP, round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, which was held today at the Misano circuit in Italy. At his home race, the rider from Forlì started from row 2, then overtook his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to move into the lead on the sixth lap. He held the position right until the end of the race, taking the chequered flag 2.8 seconds ahead of Marquez.
Sunday, 09 September 2018 18:05 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Fantastic performance by Ducati Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso to take pole position and second place in British Grand Prix qualifying
The Ducati Team riders had a brilliant day in difficult conditions at Silverstone today, with Jorge Lorenzo setting pole position in Q2 ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in second place.
Sunday, 26 August 2018 13:43 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After two rounds in the Czech Republic and Austria, the MotoGP World Championship now moves over the Channel for the third appointment in the month of August at the fast and challenging Silverstone circuit.
Thursday, 23 August 2018 10:10 Published in Rider and Team Releases