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Ducati riders ready to take on Catalunya

Ducati riders ready to take on Catalunya

Ducati riders ready to take on Catalunya

The Ducati Marlboro team rolled into the Circuit de Catalunya this week celebrating the anniversary of the Italian's sensational performance at the MotoGP Official Test which saw him set the fastest lap of the session and drive away in a BMW 330 Cd. Capirossi later donated the car to his mechanics, but carried with him a huge confidence boost which would power him to the podium in the first race of the season at Suzuka and then on to a memorable first victory with the Desmosedici at this very circuit.

It was a start of a memorable season for Capirossi, who also set a then record top speed of 328.2km/h at the test, and he admitted that he is looking forward to returning to action at the Spanish circuit on Friday. "I can't wait to test here at Barcelona," said Capirossi "We have especially good memories of this circuit. Last year we were the fastest in the winter tests, and I returned to the highest podium step there in the race. The new bike feels promising, the tests we've done so far already showed the great potential of this project, and I can't wait to test the new parts, the fruit of all the hard work that they're doing at Borgo Panigale."

After an intense winter of development with the new version of the Desmosedici at Sepang, Phillip Island and Valencia, Ducati have made key updates for Barcelona, with a new exhaust system, new mapping designed to further improve the bike's rideability, and a new Shell Advance lubricant oil, developed with the support of the Shell Research and Technology Centre of Hamburg, which has shown positive results in dyno tests.

Capirossi's team-mate Troy Bayliss is looking forward to trying out the new version of the four-cylinder machine. "The GP4 has improved a lot with respect to last year, but we're planning to test new modifications here which will hopefully help us do even better," said the Australian. "These tests and the Jerez tests are critically important, just before the beginning of the championship and, at last, we'll all be on the track together - just like in a race!"

Capirossi and Bayliss will be joined at the Catalunya session by official test rider Vittoriano Guareschi.

MotoGP, 2004

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