Ducati Marlboro Team Wins Thrilling Season-Opener2006-03-26 01:50
Loris Capirossi won today's season-opening Spanish GP in brilliant style to put the Ducati Marlboro Team at the top of the MotoGP points table for the first time in history. But it was a day of mixed emotions for the team with Sete Gibernau withdrawing due to a gear sensor problem which affected his bike's electronics.
Capirossi and Gibernau had qualified first and second fastest, with Gibernau quickest in this morning's warm-up session, so the team had high hopes of a double podium result. Capirossi led the race from start to finish to beat runner-up Dani Pedrosa by 4.375 seconds and completed a perfect weekend: pole position, race win and fastest lap. Today's victory was the Italian's fourth MotoGP success for the Ducati Marlboro Team, his sixth premier class triumph and his 26th career win.
FEDERICO MINOLI, Ducati CEO and president
"Winning today's race is the perfect end to a hard winter's work. Everyone who believes in this project has worked so hard and today all that work paid off. Loris rode like a lion, he gave us an amazing race. It's a pity for Sete, he's shown that he's strong and that he's fast and I'm sure we could have had both bikes on the podium today, but he still has 16 races ahead of him."
LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
"It's a day of mixed emotions for us - Ducati deserved a double podium today. I'm so happy for Loris, he did a great job and rode a wonderful race, he had the situation under control. On the other hand, I'm really sorry for what happened to Sete. My thanks to our technical partners Bridgestone and Shell Advance who have done so much in contributing to this victory."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, winner
"This is my fourth year with the Ducati Marlboro Team and this is the best start we've had to a season, today's win was just the best. The team has done a great job all winter, especially at the tests we did here two weeks ago. After that we knew we had a good opportunity to win and after practice and qualifying we were quite confident.
"My target today was to not try too hard in the early laps, but I got away in first place, so I tried to make a gap on the others. First it was (Nicky) Hayden behind me, then Pedrosa came at me. I decided to make a good rhythm that wouldn't stress the tyres too much, then during the last six or seven laps I pushed again and was able to take the advantage once more.
"I have to say thanks to everyone at Ducati who worked so hard for this and also to Bridgestone who have made big improvements over the winter. This is our second season with Bridgestone and our collaboration is working so well. I will try to repeat today's result as often as possible but it won't be easy!"
SETE GIBERNAU, DNF
"I've no words really, we've all been working so hard over the last few months but we're leaving the first race with no result. It's a real pity, everything had been going so well. My congratulations to Loris and Bridgestone for a fantastic win, now we look forward to the next race in Qatar in two weeks time."
Temperatures: Ambient: 22 degrees. Track: 33 degrees
Source: Ducati Corse s.r.l.
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