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Xaus joins Ducati Corse for Mugello test

Xaus joins Ducati Corse for Mugello test

Xaus joins Ducati Corse for Mugello test

Ruben Xaus joined up with Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, as well as factory test rider Vittoriano Guareschi, for an extra day of testing at Mugello on Tuesday.

The four riders worked closely with the Ducati Corse Development Team on the latest version of the Desmosedici GP4, which has been heavily modified after positive tests alongside the 2003 version at Le Mans three weeks ago and during the Gran Premio Cinzano d'Italia this weekend.

Whilst Capirossi and Bayliss concentrated on chassis development, Xaus ran up the laps to provide as much set-up data as he could gather to the Italian factory engineers. Meanwhile, Guareschi made the track debut of the latest version of the 'Twin Pulse' engine, which will be tested by the MortoGP at Catalunya next Monday if it proves to give positive results.

"Everyone in Ducati Corse is focussed on continuing the development work of the GP4 and allowing Loris and Troy to become front-runners in the next few races," said Ducati Marlboro Team director, Livio Suppo.

"We would like to thank Ruben Xaus for making himself available for the test. We asked him to take part so that we can accumulate the maximum amount of data possible. Thanks also to Luis D'Antin for enthusiastically agreeing to allow his rider to take part in this test."

"For me it's important to run up a few more kilometres and continue working on my adaptation to the category," added Xaus. "I've been working with Ducati for a long time and I'm sure these tests will be useful for all of us."

On the race at Mugello, Xaus commented: "It was like a fantasy story, and the most ‘real' part was the first half, or should I say the laps which took place in the dry. I was more in the positions I expected then, but in the second part of the race with the rain it was so exciting to see myself battling with another Ducati, a Yamaha and four Hondas.

"They are all magnificent riders with tons of experience and I couldn't believe I was ahead of all of them. In the wet it's always much more of a delicate situation and I think fifth place is a great result for me in these conditions, especially with it raining and everyone being on slick tyres, and on top of that riding elbow to elbow with the other riders.

"It was a positive weekend, we did some good work in the practices and we have got a good result. Now it's home to Montmeló, which is a circuit I really like."

Meanwhile, Ducati are offering their fans the chance to join factory engineers at their Borgo Panigale headquarters near Bologna in Italy to watch Xaus and the rest of the MotoGP field in action at Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya on a big screen.

MotoGP, 2004

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