Casey Stoner is confident of a strong showing in his final race for Ducati, at Valencia this weekend.
During four extraordinary years 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.
Stoner won from pole at Valencia in 2008 and was on pole again last year, but didn't start the race after falling on the warm-up lap.
“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," said Stoner, who has won three races this year but also suffered five race crashes.
"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 we are confident. I really want to have a good race this weekend.”
Stoner is switching to Honda next season, when his place at Ducati will be taken by seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi.
“I really hope that at Valencia we get the conditions that allow everybody to work properly in all four sessions so that we can give Casey a bike and a setting that can give him the best possible chance to end our fantastic time together in positive fashion on Sunday," added Ducati team manager Vittoriano Guareschi.
"Our bike tends to work really well at this circuit and on Friday we'll be starting out with a setting that we know has worked well for us and been competitive in the last few races. Both Casey and Nicky love the track and have had some great results there in the past so I think there's a chance they could both be on the podium.”
Hayden will be searching for his first 800cc Valencia podium this weekend, at a track where he won thee 2006 world title.
“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," he said.
"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.”
Stoner and Rossi will ride for their new teams during testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.