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Stoner ends Ducati’s seven-year wait.

Ducati finally won the Italian Grand Prix at its seventh attempt on Sunday, when Casey Stoner conquered Mugello for the home manufacturer - and took the MotoGP World Championship lead.

The Italian Grand Prix had been won by home hero Valentino Rossi, using Honda and Yamaha machinery, ever since 2002 - but Stoner emerged victorious by one second over Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo after a nerve-racking wet/dry race.

After leading in the early stages, Stoner dropped back to sixth position when his wet tyres degraded, but kept in touch and was fourth at the time of his pit stop, on lap 10 of 23.

Crucially, Stoner's team fitted the softest available (medium) compound slick tyres both front and rear to his Desmosedici, allowing the Australian to get quickly up to speed on the damp track.

Stoner's first lap out of the pits was a 2min 6.761sec, compared with 2min 10.526sec for Lorenzo and 2min 13.483sec for Rossi.

As a result, Stoner was up to second within one lap and took the lead on lap 14. After overcoming a clutch problem, and fighting off Loris Capirossi, the 2007 world champion was able to keep just out of reach of Lorenzo, whilst Rossi's late charge on hard tyres left him two seconds adrift at the flag.

“I have already won in Italy, at Misano in 2007, and it was great for Ducati but this was the one I really wanted,” admitted Stoner, after his 18th MotoGP race victory. “We've struggled to find a great setting here for the past two years but today was our day.

“We started out well in the wet, I felt good and the bike was doing great until the wet tyres were worn out. I kept trying to push to the limit because I didn't want to lose ground on the others like at Le Mans and stayed out there until I was absolutely sure it was the right time to change tyres.

“As soon as I went out on slicks I felt comfortable and competitive,” he continued. “Unfortunately I had an issue with the clutch and it started to give me a few problems. Loris came past and was pushing hard and riding very well and he kept me on my toes.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Italian MotoGP Race 2009
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Crutchlow, Pedrosa, Italian MotoGP 2017
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Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Italian MotoGP 2017
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Vamon Vemori - Unregistered

May 31, 2009 8:55 PM

Congratulations Casey!! :) :) You have done an Awesome!! job again but where are the other Ducati racers? Put Casey on the Yamaha and he would be invincible. Like to see Rossi try the Ducati as well...please no sob stories. Once again. Awesome Casey!! Go King Casey looking forward to Barcelona :) :) :) :)


June 01, 2009 2:25 AM

Dingo the other day you were saying how Stoner didn't like to fight for a win and he goes out and does it and now you are saying it's luck. How many excuses do you have? If Val or Lorenzo would have won you would be saying how skilled they are or how it was such a great race. You have been bad mouthing Stoner all week and going on about how he isn't going to win - but he did. Just say you hate the fact that Casey won and move on.

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