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Ducati and Aprilia complete Jerez test

Ducati and Aprilia complete Jerez test

Ducati and Aprilia complete Jerez test

A three day test session held jointly by Ducati and Aprilia at the Jerez circuit in Spain ended on Wednesday with positive results for both factories. After enduring rain and damp conditions on the first two days the sun shone on the final day to give Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss the chance to push several new components for the 2004 version of the Desmosedici, whilst MotoGP newcomer Shane Byrne had the opportunity to rack up some valuable laps on the RS3.

Capirossi completed a total of 46 laps, with a quickest time of 1'42.8, with Troy Bayliss dropping as low as 1'43.1 during his run of 52 laps – both riders using the race set-up on their updated 2003 machines whilst testing a series of new Michelin front tyres. The times compared favourably to the pace set earlier this year by Valentino Rossi, who lapped consistently in the mid to high 1'43s on his way to victory at the Gran Premio Marlboro de España.

"We are really pleased with today's performance" commented Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli, who will oversee the team's next test at Valencia from 10-12 December. "We lapped a lot quicker than last May's GP race pace on this track, despite the track temperature today being a lot colder. These three days of testing have confirmed that we are working in the right direction in the development of next year's Desmosedici".

British Superbike Champion Shane ‘Shakey' Byrne, meanwhile, more than got to grips with the Aprilia, clocking up over 63 laps during the course of the day and lowering his time to a respectable 1'44.7 – a time which would have easily qualified him for this season's Grand Prix.

MotoGP, 2003

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