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Ducati progress stalls on first day

Ducati progress stalls on first day

Ducati progress stalls on first day

A tough start to the season continued for the Ducati Marlboro Team on the first day of qualifying at Jerez as Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss qualified in 15th and 17th respectively without making the progress they had anticipated with their 2004 version Desmosedici machines at the Spanish track, where they had test in preseason. Both riders expressed their concern for the machine's performance in high-speed corners and could be facing another frustrating Grand Prix if the rainy weather forecasts come true tomorrow.

"Of course, we always expect better results, but I'm confident that we're in control and will find our way out of this situation," commented Capirossi, who set pole position on the 2003 bike here last season. "We knew that this track would be tougher for us than Welkom, because the bike isn't yet perfect in fast corners and there are a lot of fast corners here.

"We are testing many new things – not just bike parts but tyres also – and it's not easy doing this during practice. The important thing is that the team is united and working step by step."

"This morning I felt like I was getting the right kind of feeling, it wasn't a bad start, but we didn't make the bike any better this afternoon," added Bayliss. "I'm trying hard and the team is trying hard but we've not found what we need, we're still looking for something to turn the bike around.

"I've used both set-ups but at the moment there's not a huge difference between the two of them. We need to have a sit down and see what we can come up with for the rest of the weekend."

Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali explained the root of the riders' problems. "We have new swingarms and different weight balance here," he said. "We need to find something more for this weekend, so we'll sit down with both riders this evening and see what we can come up with for tomorrow.

"At the moment both riders have one bike with the new parts, the other with the original parts used at Welkom. Our plan for tomorrow is to give both riders two similar bikes so we can test tyres for the race, but we don't yet know whether we'll go for the new set-up or the original set-up."


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