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Discussion Starter #1
The Ducati Team heads to Texas


With the 2013 MotoGP world championship having recently kicked off in the Middle East, the Ducati Team is now headed for round two, which will mark the first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Texas.

Situated near the state capital of Austin, the new Circuit of the Americas raises many question marks for the MotoGP riders, although Ducati Team racer Nicky Hayden had the opportunity to experience the Hermann Tilke-designed circuit last month on a road bike, when he and Ignite Pramac Racing rider Ben Spies, a fellow American, took part in the press launch of the 1199 Panigale R. For Hayden’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, on the other hand, this will mark his first visit to the facility.

Adding to the trial will be the fact that COTA is quite challenging to learn, being 5.513 kilometres long (3.426 miles), with a full 20 corners, including the track’s signature uphill Turn 1 lefthander. Much of the circuit is 15 metres wide (50 feet), making for multiple line options in many of the corners.

Austin will mark the first of three rounds this season to be held in the United States, Ducati’s number-one market.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team
“I haven’t been to the Circuit of the Americas, but from the video it looks like a really big and nice track, and it also looks really difficult. Unfortunately, we didn’t test there like some of the other guys, so it will be a problem for us in the beginning. Anyway, I’m really excited for us to be riding on a new track.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“Right after Qatar I had to fly to Asia for some promotional events, so I hope to be at my best for Austin! Having three GPs in my home country almost seems like a dream to me, and the Circuit of the Americas is really a great track that’s nice, safe and new, with great facilities. I’ve been around it on a street bike, so I know the layout, although it will obviously be much different on a MotoGP bike. The track has a little bit of everything, and it’s definitely not easy. It’s really long, quite wide, and very technical, with some very particular corners that have open entries—often blind—and tight exits. I like a good challenge, and this track definitely offers one. Hopefully the American fans will come out and support the race and set up a nice trend for the next two American rounds.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“The track will be completely new for us. Nicky did a sort of shakedown with a Panigale R street bike, and from the way he describes it, it will be quite difficult. There are fast straightaways with hard braking zones and very tight hairpins, but there are also sections with fast corners. Unfortunately, since the Ducati Team didn’t test at COTA, we’re at a bit of a disadvantage to our competitors; we’ll have dual assignments during the early sessions—we have to find a general setup and the correct settings for the electronics—so we hope to have good weather in all of the sessions. The weekend is a bit of an unknown for us, but we’re optimistic.”


Ducati Team – Rider Info

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP13
Race Number: 04
Age: 27 (born in Forlimpopoli, Italy, 23 March 1986)
Residence: Forlì, Italy
Number of GPs: 187 (89 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Number of Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First GP Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Championships: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Nicky Hayden
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP13
Race Number: 69
Age: 31 (born in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA, 30 July 1981)
Residence: Owensboro (Kentucky, USA)
Number of GPs: 168 (168 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2003 Japanese GP (MotoGP)
Number of Wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP Win: 2005 USA GP (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: 2005 USA GP (MotoGP)
World Championships: 1 (6 x MotoGP, 2006)
 

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Turning the beast may prove difficult here...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Busy first day for Ducati Team in Austin

Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden had a full work schedule during MotoGP’s first two free-practice sessions to be held at the Circuit of the Americas. Along with their crews, the Ducati Team riders, who didn’t take part in a private test at the circuit last month and were therefore making their Texas debut on MotoGP bikes, gathered as much data as possible in the windy but sunny conditions. Temperatures were lower than expected for the morning practice, affecting traction.

In addition, the Italian had to deal with a minor electronics issue in the afternoon session, but he switched to his second bike and set his best time of the day, which was good enough for seventh place. Hayden was ninth.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th (2:07.236)
“Today went pretty well, both in the morning and the afternoon. I’m happy because although the conditions and the track were both difficult, we’re not so far from the top guys, and I feel good on the bike. The conditions changed a lot in the second session and will probably change again tomorrow, so we’ll continue working and see what times we can do. Grip is really important on this circuit, because it’s quite strange—different from the tracks where we usually race. I thought it would be fast, but it’s not; there’s a long straightaway, but almost all of the corners are taken in second or third gear. Still, they’ve really done a great job here.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th (2:07.699)
“It was great to get out and try the track on a MotoGP bike, as it’s really a first-class circuit and facility. This morning the biggest challenge was the lack of grip; on a new track with not much temperature, the tyres were simply too hard, though the conditions were better in the afternoon. We had a few problems with the rear, and when we made that better, that put too much load on the front. We knew it was going to be tough, since the other manufacturers tested here and have a lot of data. We’ve got some catching up to do, but I certainly hope to get closer tomorrow.”

click images for much bigger ( and be thankful I reduce them by 50% before posting ;))
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Pramac are very slow with their releases and slower with their photos, I'll just add their stuff here rather than create another thread.



Following a few days of rest after a positive season-opening race at Losail, Qatar, where the Pramac Racing Team finished ninth and tenth, the squad has arrived at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The track, which opened last year in Austin, Texas, is 5.513 kilometers long (3.426 miles) and has 20 corners (11 lefthanders and nine righthanders), along with an uphill of 41 meters (135 feet). Although the facility is making its MotoGP debut, it has already earned a reputation for being among the nicest on the calendar.

Before arriving in Texas, Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team) traveled to Laguna Seca for a few laps (also aboard a Ducati 1199 Panigale R) at another circuit that is unfamiliar to him, and which will host the season’s ninth round on July 21.

Both riders now look forward to COTA’s first MotoGP free-practice sessions, which are scheduled to get started Friday at 9:55 local time.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“Before coming here to Austin, I went to Laguna Seca to try another track that I’ve never ridden—the Corkscrew is truly spectacular! It’s a shame that I couldn’t do it more than just a few times. Now I’m ready for another new circuit, and it seems very fun and challenging.”

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I’m really happy to race at home; even just a few years ago, I never would’ve imagined that it was possible. The track is very challenging, but because I was able to do some laps here last month, I know something about what to expect, and I’ll try to take advantage of what I learned.”
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)


The Circuit of the Americas—the first of three American tracks on the 2013 MotoGP calendar—today added its first page to the championship’s history book.

Like most of the riders, the Pramac Racing Team racers approached this challenging day, which featured the traditional first two free-practice sessions, by endeavoring to learn the correct lines and to get up to pace on the unfamiliar circuit.

The windy conditions and the slippery asphalt made the task more difficult, but the team was prepared.

Unfortunately, Andrea Iannone suffered significantly from the lack of grip, which prevented him from confidently riding this new circuit and made it more difficult for him to learn the proper lines. Tomorrow will be an important opportunity to accumulate as much data as possible in order to be as prepared as possible for the race on Sunday.

Some positive changes were made to the bike of the Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider Ben Spies, and although the Texan’s shoulder still isn’t completely fit, he managed to set a time of 2:12.813 at the end of the first session, and to improve that by over six seconds at the end of FP2. The laps he did at the circuit last month, though not aboard a MotoGP bike, proved helpful.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“Today was quite difficult. I had trouble finding the right feeling with the bike, and I don’t have the confidence to push hard. I feel the bike sliding, and I feel hesitant. Anyway, I’m optimistic for tomorrow, which will be very important for us. Despite everything, I like the entire track and I hope to get closer to the other Ducati riders, as I’ve always managed to do before.”

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“It was a good day. We changed the bike quite a bit in the second session, and I got the feel of it and closed the gap to the factory Ducatis. I got some laps in, and now we’ve got some good data to look at. We’ll try to take another couple of steps for tomorrow if the track gets better, and just keep closing the gap to the front guys.”
 

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Marquez high side on cold tire. Looks a bit shaken.
 

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Slight limp but back on the track...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Dovi finding a little time, which is encouraging. Iannone way off the pace, unlikely to make final qualifying unless he finds something special. But that would likely waste tyres.

Still, it's practise times again and does not mean so much but things are shaping up for qualies.

Very concerned about barnes. he's going to be a rolling chicane in 10 laps or less if allowed to race.

I've said it before, i have no objection to local wildcards but they need to find much better talent on much better prepared machines.
 

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The gap is just amazing... Even from Pedrosa to Rossi, its one hell of a big number. These boys better figure out their shit in qualifying or this is gonna be one boring race sunday!

Ohh and FYI, when you upload full-res pictures onto the board, it takes A LONG TIME to load this page for people who don't have a super fast internet connection. I always re-size my pictures or at least lower the quality sightly so the web site will load quicker as most people will give up waiting.

Great pix though, its nice to see. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The gap is just amazing... Even from Pedrosa to Rossi, its one hell of a big number. These boys better figure out their shit in qualifying or this is gonna be one boring race sunday!

Ohh and FYI, when you upload full-res pictures onto the board, it takes A LONG TIME to load this page for people who don't have a super fast internet connection. I always re-size my pictures or at least lower the quality sightly so the web site will load quicker as most people will give up waiting.

Great pix though, its nice to see. ;)
I already reduce them by 50% in size. I've been toying with the site's attachment feature but i don't like the way it behaves.

I'll go back to hosting them offsite and loading them smaller here.

However you should always expect a lot of pictures in a thread marked Ducati press. that's kind of why I did it so we could have a thread for the general race talk, which Enzo usually starts and a thread just for press releases and pictures. At least that way you know what to expect in these threads.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to upload this sort of stuff as front page news leaving the comments for discussion with no pictures holding it up.
 

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My thread is sans media. Just time sheets and the occasional comment. Well not mine necessarily but the COTA THREAD...
 

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Love your contributions though Zoot please keep them coming. Other thread mostly #s though...
 
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Gr8 stuff Zoot! Thanks for sharing. Three Ducati's in the top ten, with two American jockeys!! Not all bad. Beautiful motorcycles on a beautiful circuit. Priceless!!

Bob Ramsbottom
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. Appreciate the comments.


Second and fourth rows for Dovizioso, Hayden in Austin

The first MotoGP qualifying sessions to be held at the Circuit of the Americas took place today in beautiful weather conditions, and Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden put their Desmosedici GP13 machines directly into Q2, reserved for the top ten riders from the free-practice sessions.

In the action-packed, 15-minute Q2 session, Andrea Dovizioso continued his positive weekend trend, and his penultimate lap put him sixth on the time sheets. As happened two weeks ago at round one, his teammate, Nicky Hayden, experienced vibration on his first exit in qualifying, but after pitting, he posted his best time on his final lap. The American will start tomorrow’s race from the tenth spot on the grid.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 6th (2:04.873)
“We’ve been going well the whole weekend, so I’m pleased. The track is really nice, especially because the grip is nearly normal now, which makes riding more fun as well. The gap to the front is pretty big, but it’s sort of like that for many of the riders. The race will be strange because the circuit is new for everyone. The tyres aren’t wearing because they don’t have to 'work' hard here, so I doubt that the performance will fall off much. I managed to adapt pretty quickly to this new track, and I’m pushing hard because in some respects I feel good with the Ducati. We know we have limits, but we’re working well. I see optimism on the team, because we want to return to the top.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (2:05.568)
“We made some progress this morning, and I thought we could be a little bit more competitive in Q2 than I was. When I first went out, I had a vibration issue with the rear tyre that was similar to what I had in qualifying in Qatar. I came in and changed tyres, and it went away immediately. Starting tenth here isn’t good. We’ll see how things go tomorrow, especially at turn one, where it will be interesting to see if everyone can get through cleanly on the start. We still have some problems with the front, which hurts your confidence. We also need to improve in the esses, so we’ll try something in the warm-up. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the race."




 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
A beautiful, sunny day greeted the MotoGP riders for the second, important day of the championship’s second round, raising the air temperature to 24˚ C and the asphalt temperature to 43˚ C.

Both Pramac Racing Team riders took to the technical, challenging Austin circuit, determined to improve their times, along with the bikes’ settings ahead of the race.

Despite a good improvement in FP3, giving him a time of 2:07.749 (two seconds faster than yesterday), the Italian had to take part in Q1. He’ll start tomorrow’s race from the 13th position on the grid.

At the end of that session, the Texan was tenth-best after lowering his best time from yesterday by over a second, advancing him directly into Q2, where he earned the 12th spot on tomorrow’s grid.


Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“It was a busy day, and although we improved steadily during the sessions, it wasn’t enough to make it into Q2. Unfortunately, when I went into Q1, I went slower than my best time, so I didn’t get a good qualifying position. Anyway, the situation isn’t bad. I have a hard time on this track, so we have to try to solve our problems in order to improve. I’m satisfied with the team and with the work that we’re doing. I’ll give myself some more races to improve, but I hope that soon I’ll manage to take a step forward and go faster.”

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I’m not happy at all. We made some changes to the bike this morning and I kind of went backwards. I’m pretty disappointed, but realistically, if the bike setting would’ve been good, we only would have been one row ahead, so it doesn’t make a big difference. We need to look at some data to try to figure it out and get a good start and try to be in the top ten in the race again. I struggle a little bit in the hard braking zones, but anyway, I’m giving a 100% like always.”










 

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Discussion Starter #20
Seventh and ninth for Ducati Team in Austin
Weather conditions were perfect for the debut MotoGP race at Austin, Texas’s Circuit of the Americas, where Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden crossed the finish line in seventh and ninth places, respectively.

The Italian suffered a bad launch off the start before settling into a long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The two traded positions on a couple of occasions, but Dovizioso ultimately made a last-lap, last-corner pass to take seventh place. Hayden meanwhile, after starting from the tenth spot on the grid, made an early pass on Andrea Iannone but never found the proper feeling to advance further aboard his Desmosedici GP13.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
“Obviously, we’re not satisfied with seventh place, but the race time wasn’t bad. I was able to keep a good pace below 2:06, so I’m pleased with my aggression and effort. I managed to be pretty consistent up until the final five or six laps. The last three laps with Bautista were fun—a nice battle! We know we have to work hard, because this is our limit at the moment, but we’re really motivated to improve.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
“It was a tough weekend. The track was great, but I lost some time in the beginning and was struggling with change of direction. I was okay on much of the track, but I never found the confidence in the front end to flick the bike into the corners, which hurt me in the esses. The guys did a good job getting me a better bike for the race, and I don’t really have any excuses. Ninth place isn’t what we wanted here today, so I certainly hope we can sort a few things out and start putting up a better fight than we have in these first two races.”

Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“We certainly had a slight disadvantage, not testing here in March against the other teams, and we realize that against the other factory bikes we can’t keep up over race distance. We made some improvements to several aspects of the bike, but a major issue remains; we can’t hold a line, so we run wide in the corners. That prevents better lap times and adds up at the end, especially on this track, which has a lot of sequential corners. We look forward to Jerez. In the last test there, we saw some potential for improvement, and in addition, we’ll have the support of our test rider, Michele Pirro, who is doing his first wildcard race for us there.”

pictures to follow
 
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