Sepang proved to be another frustrating weekend for the Pramac Ducati team as Aleix Espargaro slid out of the race, and Mika Kallio finished in 15th position.
Possibly more alarming is that GPOne are reporting that Pramac Ducati will be scaling back their MotoGP efforts and are going to run only one bike next season with Loris Capirossi as the rider. This news has not yet been confirmed via an official press announcement however.
This will be a huge blow for the series as it is looking increasingly likely that Suzuki are due to announce a one bike team for 2011 (with Alvaro Bautista) and Interwetten Honda are strongly rumoured to be close to pulling out of the 2011 season due to financial issues.
The Pramac Ducati team reflect back on the Malaysian MotoGP below:
Fabiano Sterlacchini – Technical Director
“The physical conditions and the hot weather have certainly not helped Mika’s race. This morning during the warm up, we had further reduced the gap we had accused yesterday by the best riders, but this was not enough for our riders to fight for better positions. Too bad for Aleix’s race. He was considerably reducing his lap pace when he lost the front of his bike. From the television we have seen that he should not have had problems, we will investigate to understand what happened. From Tuesday we’ll return to work hard for the next Australian Grand Prix.”
Mika Kallio – 15th in the race
“What a difficult race. I won three positions thanks to a good start, but I still finished the first round in the last position. On the third lap I was struggling with my teammate, who did have a better lap pace than mine. Together we repaired the gap from Barberą. On the fifteenth lap I passed Hector, but the shoulder pain and excessive heat did not allow me to maintain my position unchanged. With three laps to go I was overtaken by Barberą. I finished the race in twelfth place that is not a good position, but with my physical condition I could not hope to a better position. ”
Aleix Espargaro – DFN
“I’m very disappointed and sad about how things went, despite a quite good start, I managed not to lose positions. But in the early rounds my tires were not in temperature and I could not get a good lap pace. From the third round I have seen that the grip was still significantly increased. My pace was good enough to try to overtake some positions, during the sixth lap, I first overtake Barberą and then my team-mate Mika Kallio. Just after passing him, in a corner change of direction, the bike slipped away. Fortunately, it didn’t turn off, but unfortunately the handlebar was broken. Too bad because with so many drops and withdrawals in the today’s race, I could gain a position among the top ten. The important thing is now to return to work in the best way to be ready for the next Australian Grand Prix that will take place next Sunday. “
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