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Ducati Marlboro stick to tried and tested policy

Ducati Marlboro stick to tried and tested policy

Ducati Marlboro stick to tried and tested policy

The Ducati Marlboro Team arrives in Great Britain this weekend fresh on the back of two confidence boosting weekends at Catalunya and Assen, where Loris Capirossi scored the Desmosedici´s historic first victory and its second pole position. At the halfway point of the season, the Italian factory are now hoping for further success at Donington Park but will not be introducing any new material - sticking with their policy of leaving the bikes as unchanged as possible from one race to the next in order to allow the riders to gain an intimate knowledge of how their machines behave on the limit.

`More confidence is better than more new parts,´ says Team director Livio Suppo, who will oversee Capirossi and Troy Bayliss in a private test at Brno on the Wednesday and Thursday of next week. `At this stage we want our riders to focus on set-up for each race, rather than testing new parts. It´s difficult to say how we´ll go at Donington; the bike seems to be pretty good wherever we race, and both the riders love the track, which is a good start´.

Technical director Corrado Cecchinelli says that the team will be working hard to give the riders very balanced machinery at Donington to cope with the two contrasting sections of the circuit. `You need to make some real set-up compromises at Donington,´ says Cecchinelli. `The track is very hard on brakes, so maybe we´ll run bigger brake discs there. You also have to run a stiffer front-end, so the forks don´t bottom out during braking, which means working with springs, preload and hydraulic damping settings´.

Capirossi and Bayliss have a choice of three different diameter Brembo front brake discs – 290mm, 305mm and 320mm – depending on circuit characteristics. At Assen, where there's little heavy braking, Capirossi preferred the 290mm discs while Bayliss liked the 305mm rotors. At Donington they may both use 320mm brakes.

`I think it´s an interesting track,´ adds Cecchinelli. `Maybe it doesn´t have a long straight, but otherwise it's got a little of everything – heavy braking, fast corners and tight hairpins. I like British racetracks like Donington and Brands Hatch because they have some soul. There´s always a few corners that are interesting, that you remember, like Craner, which is a big challenge for riders and engineers. Just like Assen, we´ve had plenty of Superbike experience at Donington, but all this gives us is an idea of what to expect. At Assen we knew we´d have to work on manoeuvrability through the high-speed direction changes, at Donington we know we´ll have to focus on braking performance´.

To find out what Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss have to say about Donington, click the video links at the right of this page.

MotoGP, 2003, Ducati Marlboro Team

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