The last race of the 2009 MotoGP season will also be the last race in Ducati Marlboro Team colours for Livio Suppo, Ducati’s MotoGP project manager. The Italian manager will leave Ducati to embark on a new professional adventure.
In Ducati since 1999, Suppo was involved in this challenging and ambitious project from the very beginning, contributing with his intuition, perseverance and enthusiasm to the world title victory of 2007 and to the many podiums and successes that have characterised the life of the Ducati Desmosedici from its debut in 2003 up until today.
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden took fourth and eighth place respectively in the German Grand Prix with combative performances at the Sachsenring circuit in bright sunshine but cool temperatures this afternoon. Stoner launched from the front row of the grid to chase Valentino Rossi before passing the Italian for the lead on lap seven, holding firm at the front until past mid-distance.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated and important events on the MotoGP calendar for Ducati and its riders arrives this weekend, with the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. It is one of two home races for Nicky Hayden and the scene of his debut victory in motorcycle racing’s elite competition, which came in 2005 and was followed up by identical success on his way to the world title in 2006. Casey Stoner picked up the baton with victory in 2007 and the Australian was one half of an epic battle with Valentino Rossi last year.
The Ducati Marlboro Team had a mixed weekend at Assen, with some positive results balanced out by a few difficulties. The steps forward in the bike’s performance were a definite positive, and that allowed Casey Stoner to take yet another podium finish despite suffering physically once more during the race.
With 106 points and two victories each from six races so far this season, the three gladiators that stand together at the top of the MotoGP World Championship stood side by side on the podium at Catalunya today, each having written their own page in another thrilling chapter of motorcycling history. Whilst Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought a fantastic battle for victory to the final corner, Casey Stoner had to fight his own battle against illness to secure a priceless third place.