" Sunday Jun 4 2006
Race - Mugello
CAPIROSSI FINISHES 2ND TO RETAKE SERIES LEAD
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau played starring roles in today's enthralling Italian Grand Prix, both riders leading to the delight of the Italian fans before finally finishing second and fifth.
Capirossi came back brilliantly from a sluggish start to take the lead on lap 15. From there he fought a thrilling duel with compatriot Valentino Rossi, ending the race just 0.575 seconds down to retake the World Championship lead, though equal on points with third-place finisher Nicky Hayden. During the early stages Gibernau was Rossi's biggest threat, the Spaniard leading on several occasions before the toe-slider on his right boot got damaged. Gibernau slipped back before mounting a spirited comeback, rapidly closing on fourth-place finisher Dani Pedrosa. By the finish he had worn right through the boot and his little toe was bleeding.
Capirossi and Gibernau raced with special livery to celebrate three anniversaries: Ducati's 80th birthday, the 60th anniversary of the company starting motorcycle production and the 50th anniversary of its first use of the desmodromic valve system.
LORIS CAPIROSSI, finished 2nd, 1st overall (99 points)
"My start was so bad and I had chosen quite hard tyres so I was a little bit quiet in the first few laps. When my rhythm came good I started overtaking guys, though it wasn't easy because everyone was going so quick today. The battle with Valentino and Nicky was great, we overtook each other many times but always in a correct manner, it's always so nice to ride with Valentino. I enjoy races like that even if I don't win! To win here at Mugello is the best, but today I'm happy with second. Everyone in the team made a really great job this weekend, so thanks to them all. Bridgestone are coming better and better, we're at a very high level now and I hope we can continue improving. Our season started so well and it continues to go well, now I want more of this!"
SETE GIBERNAU, finished 5th, 9th overall (44 points)
"We had a few moments out there but we had good fun and I enjoyed it a lot, it's been a while since I've been riding to win a race. I led a few laps, it was nice to be up there again and we fought good, so it was perfect. The team did a great job and Bridgestone did a great job too, they gave me a real good bike and tyres, so all credit to the guys, though the bike was a little wobbly on the main straight! When I had the problem with my boot it was difficult to adapt, it took two laps or so to adjust, then I came back. It was just a pity what happened with my boot, but that's racing. I'm starting to enjoy riding again and I'm beginning to really understand how to get the best out of the Ducati."
FEDERICO MINOLI, Ducati Motor Holding CEO and president
"That was a great way to mark the three anniversaries we are celebrating this year. We had a one-two on the grid and we were in the thick of the action for the race win. Loris rode like a lion, making an unbelievable comeback, while Sete showed once again that he's a great rider, without that boot problem he would also have fought for the win. "
Temperatures: Ambient: 20 degrees. Track: 29 degrees"