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The Ducati Team has arrived at Motegi for the Grand Prix of Japan, the fifteenth round in the 2017 MotoGP World Championship and the first leg of a challenging series of three back-to-back, end-of-season, fly-away races, which will continue the next two weekends with rounds in Australia and Malaysia.
 
The Twin Ring Motegi circuit, which hosted the world championship for the first time in 1999, has an unusual layout with a series of long straights followed by tight curves that put braking and engine acceleration to a severe test. In the past the Japanese track has been a good one for Ducati Team riders, who have scored some great results here, notably three successive wins for Loris Capirossi in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and a win in 2010 for Casey Stoner, who also took the world title for Ducati at Motegi in 2007.
 
Andrea Dovizioso likes the Japanese track a lot, and the Italian has been on the Motegi podium in all three categories, winning the 125cc race in 2004, scoring two of his five MotoGP poles here and twice finishing runner-up in the top category. Last year Dovizioso, who started from row 2, managed to hold off a recovery from Viñales to finish with a well-deserved second place.
 
Jorge Lorenzo has an excellent record at Motegi in MotoGP, with four poles and three wins to his name. Last year the Spanish rider qualified on the front row, but then crashed out of the race and had to retire.
 
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (208 points)

“Motegi is a special circuit, one of my favourites, because you have to brake very hard and I feel sure that we can be up amongst the frontrunners once again on this track. I’m pretty confident because I’ve always scored good results here in MotoGP, twice taking pole and finishing second last year. The next four races will be vitally important in the battle for the title and we’re ready to fight things out right until the very end.”
                                                                                                                                    
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (106 points)
“The podium at Aragon was very important for the team and it confirmed that we are going in the right direction. Now the final part of the season is about to get underway, with three back-to-back fly-away races, and my aim is the same as ever: to fight for the podium and try and get my first win with Ducati. Motegi is one of my favourite tracks, and I’ve managed to win there on a number of occasions in the past. I think that our bike adapts well to the characteristics of this track and so we’ll have a real possibility of getting a good result.”