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Ducati Marlboro raise expectations for Jerez

Ducati Marlboro raise expectations for Jerez

Ducati Marlboro raise expectations for Jerez

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi bring the Desmosedici to Spain this weekend for its long-awaited European race debut at Jerez. Capirossi, Bayliss and the 220-plus horsepower Italian V4 made headlines at the season-opening races in Japan and South Africa, leading both and dazzling fans with speed and noise. The team´s start to its MotoGP adventure has been remarkable, but they insist they are keeping their feet very much on the ground and claim the riders´ stunning early pace only increases expectations.

`We achieved great results in the first two races,´ says Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. `It is a nice feeling but the pressure within the team to stay there is very high, and we know we still have a lot of learning to do.´

The riders and engineers are particularly looking forward to Jerez, since they have some knowledge of the circuit having tested there three times during the winter. The data gained from those tests will be crucial this weekend, even though the Desmosedici has changed substantially since then. Technical director Corrado Cecchinelli explains: `The bikes are very different in set-up compared to when we last went to Jerez in February, but basically the same as they were at Welkom. We are now much closer to having a good front/rear balance – both the riders are happy. Now when we make changes, the riders often say they don´t like them, which is a sign that the bike is much closer to how it should be!

`In the early stages of our testing programme the riders would like whatever changes we made. Last time we went to Jerez we had wheelspin problems, but traction was much better at Suzuka and Welkom, so it should be good for Jerez. We made some important changes to front-end geometry before Welkom, but both ends affect one another, you improve the front and that can help the rear, and vice versa.

Cecchinelli expects Jerez to be a good test of the Desmosedici. `It is a complete track, so it´s good for testing. It has fast and slow corners, uphill braking into turn one and downhill braking into the hairpin, so you need a well balanced bike, with a good compromise set-up.´

Find out what rider Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss have to say about Jerez by clicking on the video links at the right hand side of this page.

MotoGP, 2003, Ducati Marlboro Team

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