Ducati Marlboro riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa commence the second half of the 2005 season at Brno this weekend looking to improve on their modest eighth and tenth positions in the Riders' World Championship - and beat the team's best finish of third, claimed by Capirossi at Mugello.

Capirossi is one of only three riders to have scored points at all ten rounds so far - the others being Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards - and the Italian is aiming to maintain that consistency during the remaining seven races, but while getting much closer to the front.

"Everyone in the team, at the factory and at Bridgestone is working very hard to give me what I need to get back up front," said Loris. "Bridgestone brought some good tyres to Germany, they seem to have taken a good step forward, so we hope we can continue that progress at Brno, especially since they've had a month to work at developing more new tyres.

"I always look forward to Brno. These days we race at many quite short circuits, so it's always special to race at fast, open tracks like Brno, Mugello, Phillip Island and Barcelona. I enjoy these circuits the most and our bike also works well at Brno. I've had a good few weeks off - just going out on my boat around Monaco and doing very little else - so I am ready to race again!" he declared.

Team-mate Checa was running with the lead group early on in last month's German Grand Prix... until he slid off without harm. Now the Spaniard wants to turn his speed into results after claiming a best of three fifth-place finishes from the first half of the season.

"I get on well with the Ducati, I know I can go very fast on this bike, but so far things haven't turned out my way," said Checa. "Hopefully my luck will change after the break. I like Brno and I know the Ducati is quite quick there.

"We have good horsepower and you need a lot of power at Brno, especially for the long uphill run to the final esses section. Brno is definitely one of the best circuits for MotoGP - it's got a lot of fairly fast turns, some long straights and it's very up and down, so it's a real challenge to get the chassis set-up just right."

"We go to Brno in positive mood," added Ducati MotoGP project manager Livio Suppo. "Bridgestone made a big step forward at the Sachsenring, their new tyres worked really, really well and our riders showed they could go very fast.

"Carlos' pace was unbelievable and was second fastest in morning warm-up, just ahead of Loris, so we were confident of a good race. But it didn't turn out like that. Carlos fell and Loris, who actually recorded the fastest lap of the race, finished ninth.

"However, our motto is always 'never give up', so we go to Brno working hard to turn our speed into results and to get the best possible start to the second part of the season. Brno has been good to us in the past and we hope that we'll have a good weekend there this time."

Meanwhile, Ducati technical director Corrado Cecchinelli believes that the fast, flowing nature of the wide Brno circuit will play into the attributes of the Desmosedici GP5.

"Brno is a flowing racetrack that seems to suit our machine," he said. "You need good horsepower for all the straights, real confidence in the front end for the downhill corner entries and a very manoeuvrable chassis for all the esses sections."



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