Moto GP

Casey Stoner looking to end Ducati days with a win

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The Grand Prix of Valencia provides the traditional curtain call to the MotoGP World Championship and it promises to be a special weekend for the Ducati Marlboro Team as they pay a fond farewell to Casey Stoner.

Four fantastic years together with the Australian rider brought Ducati its first ever MotoGP title in 2007 and with one race still remaining a total of 23 victories, 41 podiums and 20 pole positions.

Valencia has traditionally been a favourable track for the Ducati Marlboro Team, who scored a memorable one-two in 2006 and have had top five finishes there every year since.

Casey Stoner took the first win of his Grand Prix career at Valencia back in 2003 in the 125cc race and he has a second place and a victory, in 2007 and 2008 respectively, to his name in MotoGP. Nicky Hayden also has podiums there, having finished second in 2005 and third in 2006.

After a weekend of challenging weather in Portugal the team and riders are hoping for better conditions in Spain as they look to finish off the season in positive fashion.

"After the awful weather we had to put up with in Portugal I hope that Valencia is a bit better and we get chance to work well and get a good set-up for my final race on the Ducati," Stoner said.

"I have always liked the circuit and I had my first ever win here in 125cc. It is a tight but flowing circuit and even though there are a lot of second and third gear corners they are banked and you can let the bike run, keeping some good speed up. This also helps you to find a gearbox setting quite quickly because apart from the straight, obviously, you only really need two gears. In the past we have always been able to find a good set-up so I we are confident. I really want to have a good race this weekend."

After some wind tunnel tesing Nicky Hayden is ready for the season finale.

"Time has flown past since Portuga," Hayden said.

"I went to Italy do some wind tunnel tests at Ducati and then we were back on the road to Spain. It has done me good to have a couple of days rest though because the crash on Friday left me with a knock on my back and it has been a bit painful. I'm okay now though and I can't wait to get back out at Valencia, a circuit I love and a place that will always be special to me because I won the title here. Also the fact it's the last race of the season, with so many people there packing out the grandstands... it just gives the whole event that little bit extra. I have been on the podium here twice in the past so we'll try and do it again this Sunday."

Main Photo: Casey Stoner
Credit: Ducati
Nicky Hayden has been busy with some wind tunnel testing since Estirol. Credit: Ducati

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