It is fair to say that the Marlboro Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss have not had the season they expected, however they hope to turn their bad luck around at the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix, this weekend.

Capirossi failed to finish last Saturday's Marlboro Qatar Grand Prix at Losail, but he's raring to put that disappointment behind him at Sepang. The Ducati Marlboro Team man should be in better physical shape than he was last weekend, when he rode in some pain from the broken foot he sustained at last month's Japanese GP.

"Sepang is a great track, I like it very much, so I just hope that the bike also likes it!" says Capirossi who has scored one premier-class podium at the track. "The tropical weather always makes this a tough race - for the riders, for the bikes and for the tyres. The conditions will be similar to Qatar but maybe more humid. I like Sepang because it's a very technical circuit with a good range of corners - fast, slow, downhill, uphill, so it's got a bit of everything. It has also got two long straights which should be good for us because our bike is always very fast. Finally I like it because it's so wide, which makes it good for fighting. Last time we went there was during winter testing. We had some problems then but the bike is much better now, so I think we should be okay."

Bayliss made his Sepang debut this time last year, finishing his first race at the challenging venue inside the top ten. This weekend the Ducati Marlboro Team rider hopes to better his 2003 result after a difficult couple of races since the MotoGP paddock left Europe last month.

"Sepang will be like Qatar - hot and hard - and a real test of your strength and stamina," says Aussie Bayliss. "The weather can be pretty tough, it's always humid but I guess we'll be pretty used to the heat after Qatar last weekend. But Sepang is different from Qatar because you never know what the weather's going to do - sometimes a storm can pop up for the race when you least expect it.

"It's a fast and flowing track, so I don't mind it. It's also pretty wide, which is good for the racing because there's plenty of room for you to get into a turn side by side with the other guys. I'm looking forward to it because it's about time we had some luck!"



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