The layout is varied, with a little of everything: two spots where riders reach sixth gear, but others that are technical and taken in first. Since its MotoGP debut, the Ducati Team has achieved three wins and one podium at Sepang. Valentino Rossi, who counts the track among his favourites, has six wins and three podiums, while Nicky Hayden has never finished in the top three but has always been very consistent, with five fourth-place finishes in his career, along with one fifth and a sixth.
Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team
“I like the Sepang circuit a lot, although the weather conditions are always extreme. We didn’t have much good luck in Australia, and we also had to work harder than expected on the bike’s setup. We hope to do better here in Malaysia starting on Friday. Anyway, we’ll also be able to verify where we are compared to the tests that we did here last year, it will be interesting to compare things now, with what we had then.”
Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team
“The conditions in Malaysia are typically hot and steamy, very different from what we had at Phillip Island on Sunday. The Sepang circuit has a good mix of everything, so you need the bike to do everything well. There are some long straightaways where you need a fast bike that brakes well, along with some fast corners, like Turns 5 and 6 and a section in the back. On the other hand, there are also some slow little hairpins, so it’s a good mix of everything that really challenges a rider and bike. It will be interesting to get back on this track after spending a lot of time here in February. The bike has changed a lot, so we’ll see what kind of progress we’ve actually made.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“Here in Malaysia, we’ll continue working on the GP11.1, both for the race and in order to gather information for our work program with an eye toward 2012. The conditions will be opposite to those in Australia. It’s very challenging from a physical point of view, both for the riders and for the team, which is working extremely hard on many fronts in this final part of the season. The Desmosedici that will take to the track on Friday is different from the one we used in the winter tests, and this event will let us make some interesting comparisons with the data that we collect.”