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Bayliss and Capirossi participate in a Ducati Parade in Melbourne before returning to work

Bayliss and Capirossi participate in a Ducati Parade in Melbourne before returning to work

Bayliss and Capirossi participate in a Ducati Parade in Melbourne before returning to work

The Ducati team are pumped for the Philip Island showdown this weekend after taking part in a parade in celebration of the Italian manufacturer held within the streets of Melbourne. With Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss looking on, the `Ducati MotoGP Motorcade´ drew a large following in the city and the Mayor John So was also in attendance.

"Both our guys are looking forward to racing at Phillip Island – the fans are so appreciative of our sport in Australia," commented Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "We therefore go into the penultimate race of our first MotoGP campaign in positive mood. Troy can't wait to race in Australia again; it's been a long time. He's got some great memories of this track, and Loris too, he won his first World Championship here in 1990." Troy Bayliss is one of the riders more hopeful of success at this GP. Very popular in his country, the 34 year old MotoGP debutant is currently situated in a decent spot in the World Championship standings and some of his results this season have filled his fans with hope of a good showing on Sunday. The circuit has been the scene of some important race for the veteran in the past when he was riding in the WSB series. Bayliss returns ‘home' 18 months after his last race appearance at Philip Island, this time it is aboard the fearsome Desmosedici.

"Phillip Island will be the busiest race of the year for me," says Bayliss. "My plan had been to head back to my home town for a few days after Malaysia, but there's been too much going on, I've had to do a fair bit of press and PR work. I like the atmosphere and I like the track because the racing tends to be close. It's a place I do well at. It was one of the first circuits where we tested the Desmosedici and the things went okay, so this weekend should be good for us. I'll have a lot of friends and fans down there, they'll make sure I pull my finger out, and I'll be aiming for the podium." For his part, Loris Capirossi is keen to race the Ducati at the venue where he became a World Champion for the first time at the tender age of 17: "I like Phillip Island so much, but it's a difficult track, especially for tyres," remarked the Italian. "However we did a race simulation during our tests at Phillip Island and the Michelins worked well. We also tried many different chassis and engine settings to get less wheelspin and I think we worked in a good direction. This is our first year but I think we can be very happy with what we've achieved so far. And next season should be even better because we'll have full track data from which to work." Ducati are sitting second in the constructors Championship and a podium result is exactly what the firm needs to consolidate their standing in what has been an excellent debut season for the Italians

MotoGP, 2003, Loris Capirossi

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