The Ducati Marlboro Team makes a flying visit to the tropics this week for the Marlboro Malaysian Grand Prix, round 14 of this year's 16-race MotoGP World Championship and the middle event of three back-to-back 'flyaway' races.

Riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss should be ready for the steamy tropical heat of Sepang after riding through the burning heat of the Qatari desert at last weekend's Marlboro Qatar Grand Prix.

Once again the pair will be hoping for a rewarding weekend after a recent run of ill luck that has prevented them from scoring points at the last two rounds. Both men know that the Ducati Desmosedici GP4 is capable of scoring podium finishes, now they just need some luck to help them prove that.

"The last couple of races haven't been very kind to us," says Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "But we feel that our time must come soon. The main thing is that the team is still in good spirits, the bike is working well and the riders are still full of fight. We're therefore looking forward to Sepang very much - surely we now deserve a straightforward and successful weekend!"

Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli knows what is required for this high-speed track carved out of the jungle adjacent to Kuala Lumpur's international airport.

"The main thing you need from the bike at Sepang is a good balance," he says. "The weather conditions are very tough for this race, like they were at Losail last weekend, so we try and make the bike as comfortable and easy to handle, so the riders can keep riding hard all the way to the finish."

Heat, humidity and 340kmh bike racing isn't all the team has to worry about this weekend.

The logistics involved in getting the Ducati Marlboro Team around the world for this series of three 'flyaway' races are massively complex. The team's freight - 10,000 kilos packed in 40 crates - is carried around the globe in three Jumbo 747 cargo planes as part of the MotoGP paddock's 300 tonnes of freight. All the team's freight will be transported out of Sepang on Sunday evening and should be at Phillip Island, venue for next Sunday's Australian GP, by Tuesday evening.

 

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