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Ducati complete an unexpected succesful weekend at Suzuka

Ducati complete an unexpected succesful weekend at Suzuka

Ducati complete an unexpected succesful weekend at Suzuka

Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss scored impressive positions of third and fifth repsectively in yesterday´s opening GP of the season at Suzuka. The pair were contesting the Italian factory´s first premier-class GP in over three decades.

Capirossi also led the race on the opening lap before falling victim to the pace of eventual winner and World Champion Valentino Rossi. ´For sure I didn´t expect such a result in my first race with Ducati, especially with my fourth-row position,´ beamed the Italian who headed the Suzuka top-speed chart at 316.5kmh. ´My start was unbelievable! After that I pushed so hard and to get third place is very good. I have to say thanks again to Ducati – we are still in the early stages with this bike but already we have shown that our potential is very high.´

Troy Bayliss earned 5th place in his MotoGP debut and the former World Superbike Champion, like his team-mate, rocketed from the fourth row to be sixth by the first lap. ´It wasn´t a win but we got a race under our belt and we´re happy. We´ve shown that the Ducati is competitive and that´s what it´s all about. I couldn´t do any more, I was pretty consistent the whole race but we´re still missing a couple of things, I still don´t feel myself on the bike. When we find what we´re looking for, the bike will be really nice. I´m looking forward to all the other races, I´ll be doing my best everywhere we go.´

Claudio Domenicali, managing director of Ducati Corse, was also thrilled by the result. ´This is at the high end of our expectations!´ he grinned. ´It was a difficult weekend because the weather changed in every session, so we couldn´t learn as much about the track as we wanted to. Now the bikes go to Welkom, but we return to Italy where Loris, Troy and Vittoriano Guareschi will ride development bikes at Mugello on April 14 and 15. We expect Welkom to be harder.´

MotoGP, 2003

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