Carlos and his X-802 only had to collect 3 points to be champions, but at the weekend he demonstrated once again his superiority with two fantastic wins giving victory in race 1 and race 2. The only contender who looked like he could possibly threaten Carlos’s crown was Marco Melandri (Nolan X-802) who, free from thoughts about his future, thrilled the audience with two fantastic second places gained with grit, determination and adrenaline driven overtaking manoeuvres. Marco mathematically won second place in the final standings one Grand Prix before the end of the season. Thanks Carlos, thanks Marco and thanks to all those who have worked for you and with you for this truly outstanding achievement.
“Today has been a perfect day, the best day of my career and probably the best day of my life. I thank everyone, every person that has helped me throughout my career, from the beginning up until today, for helping me reach this point. I especially thank Genesio Bevilacqua, my entire team and Ducati of course. I am experiencing so many emotions and must admit that it was very difficult to keep my concentration in the final stages of race one. Then, in race two, I tried to race as fast as I could, doing what I like to do best, and was able to win once more. Now we can relax and relish in this unforgetable moment.”
"I’m pleased with my two podium finishes today. Race one was very difficult, I was struggling with the front so we modified the fork a bit before the second race but it didn’t make the difference I had hoped for. At the beginning I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike but mid-way I was more comfortable and pushed as hard I could. When I saw Eugene on the small hairpin on the last lap, I knew it was my only chance to get ahead. My target today was to catch up on the riders ahead and I did my best in both races so I’m happy to come away with two seconds."
Lorenzo (X-lite X-802) triumphs in second place, Stoner (Nolan X-802) takes third.
In MotoGP also, a positive weekend for our brands. If it wasn’t for a rare ‘off the track’ moment for Casey - who started from pole position - whilst he was leading, who knows how it would have ended... Maybe we're getting too use to victories. Let us be satisfied! With three races to go to the end of the season, Stoner leads the standings with 40 points ahead of Lorenzo.
Next race in Australia October 16th.
“I didn’t expect such a strange race, Casey going wide and Dovi having a ride through. I thought it was possible to fight with Dani but he came better and better, I think he was inspired today and at a very high level of riding. He decided the victory and I couldn’t follow him. To win now is almost impossible, just maybe some small possibilities! A big thank you to my team who worked so hard this weekend to make a very competitive bike and thank you to all the Japanese fans who came out to support us.”
“The whole weekend had gone so well for us and even the start of the race we got a great start and everything felt good in the first laps and I was able to pull a small advantage. Andrea was riding very well on the soft tyre compound and we knew ours would work well towards the end of the race, so the pace we had at that stage I was very comfortable with. As I came out of the back straight I got a wobble on the bike, we hit the big bump and as the front came down it practically shook the bars out of my hands; I was lucky to hold on. I went for the brakes and there was nothing there, so I had to pump them up a couple of times, when I pumped it the second time it flicked me up over the front and I was lucky to stay on the bike. Thankfully I avoided hitting the wall at the end of the gravel trap but this pretty much ended our race. It's really disappointing as we had the bike to win here to day, but in the end I guess I should be thankful that we were able to climb back up to a podium spot after other peoples misfortunes and mistakes on track. I'm looking forward to going to Phillip Island now and to see what we can achieve there. I've got a Championship lead to protect, but I also want to win races which is why I'm disappointed here today.”