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Contrasting fortunes for Ducati Marlboro riders

Contrasting fortunes for Ducati Marlboro riders

Contrasting fortunes for Ducati Marlboro riders

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss left the Catalunya circuit in somewhat different moods on Sunday evening after enjoying contrasting fortunes at the MotoGP Official Test. Capirossi ended the televised ‘Official Practice' in fourth position, just 0.3 seconds off the best lap of the day set by Valentino Rossi, and with the honour of having travelled faster than any other MotoGP rider in history after clocking an incredible 347.4km/h (215.8mph) on the Desmosedici GP4. Bayliss, however, never really recovered from a crash caused by an oil spill early in the timed session, which also involved Capirossi, and struggled to the nineteenth fastest time.

"I'm very happy with the session, which confirmed the new bike's promise," said Capirossi. "We made various minor adjustments to get my GP4 ready for the fast laps in the televised session. Now we return to testing many new parts and settings. We have a lot to do, but at least we already know the bike is very fast."

Bayliss was reluctant to talk about the test at all, preferring to look ahead for better fortunes in the next official session which begins on Wednesday at Jerez. "At this stage of the year I'd rather focus on working on set-up than rushing around trying to do fast laps," said the disappointed Australian. "We need time to relax so we can work on fine-tuning the set-up. The Jerez tests will be really important for us."

Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali, meanwhile, was satisfied with his team's overall performance. "We haven't really had any time to work on the bikes here, so we're very happy with the performance," he said. "This year's machine is quite different from last year's, so we still have to get used to it and find the right set-up balance. I would say that the bike is at 70 per cent of its potential, now we have to focus on fine tuning to make it even faster. We weren't expecting such an incredible top speed, but this only proves that the new GP4 has a lot of potential".

MotoGP, 2004, Ducati Marlboro Team

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