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Loris Capirossi: "Rossi will win with Yamaha next year"

Loris Capirossi: 'Rossi will win with Yamaha next year'

Loris Capirossi: "Rossi will win with Yamaha next year"

Loris Capirossi has added his name to the slowly widening circle of opinion that reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi will be a force to be reckoned with in 2004 despite moving to a manufacturer that has only scored two victories in the last two years (and one podium result in 2003).

The Italian veteran and factory Ducati rider was speaking during the final tests of the year at the Valencia circuit last week. "Valentino's change is a good thing for everybody," he said. "I wasn't surprised he left Honda. I think he made the right move; for starters the money they offered him is good! But seriously Valentino has some hard work ahead of him to sort the bike out although I am certain that we will see the potential of his combination with Yamaha very early. At the moment nobody really knows what to expect but for sure it is a good bike and it's not the worst out there. I think it is possible that he will win races next year."

As one of a very small elite group of riders to have beaten Rossi in the last few years Capirossi has been working hard to continue the awesome development of the new Ducati machine after they exploded on the GP scene in 2003 with one win and eight podiums in their debut campaign. There were at least two areas to be addressed in Valencia as test rider Vittoriano Guareschi lapped with the '04 prototype and the MotoGP stars worked on their models that completed the season in 4th and 6th positions overall.

"Vitto is testing the 2004 machine, whereas Troy and myself are on the 2003 bike with some of next season's parts," remarked 30 year old Capirossi, sharing a garage with Troy Bayliss. "We will most probably be testing with a similar version of the bike that Vitto is using on in our next outing at Valencia." "Last year we often had problems with the bike spinning up in the corners, and on the brakes we weren't the best. So these are two areas in which the development bike is much different and trying to improve. The new machine is clearly much different to ours, in terms of its character but this is simply the evolution. As I said, we did have wheel-spin problems last year and it's possible there is some kind of electronic control to help with this on the new bike but we also have different engine characteristics to deal with this and until we test it, we don't know which way forward will be better, but at least we have options."

"Sometimes last season also we had problems with the bike being a little too hot and this is another area we are looking to rectify. It also explains why we have a lot of sensors on the bike and a lot of data to test from everywhere. At this moment Vitto's bike is a prototype version and it's all about testing; we have a lot of things to check. "

This year when we began we didn't have a lot of data but next season we have more information to work with; we will start in a different way and this is good. "

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi

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