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Ducati Marlboro men in positive mood

Ducati Marlboro men in positive mood

Ducati Marlboro men in positive mood

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi finished today's baking-hot first Catalan GP qualifying session in 10th and 11th positions, confident that they are making good forward progress with their Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedicis.

Following last weekend's Italian Grand Prix, where Bayliss and Capirossi had one 2003 bike and one 2004 bike apiece, they're both back to focusing on this year's machine here, the team adopting a 'less is more' attitude to set-up, making as few changes as possible, so the riders can get fully comfortable with their machinery.

"Now that we have a base set-up for this year's bike we are trying to change as little as possible," said Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "We are also making a lot of comparisons between the riders' different set-ups, trying to improve our overall set-up."

Troy Bayliss was in the hunt for a place on the provisional front row for half of this afternoon's opening qualifier, run in 30 degree heat with track temperatures nudging 45 degrees. And although the Aussie ended up 10th, he reckoned he could have been further up the order if he hadn't got out of shape during his best qualifying lap.

"I feel more comfortable on the bike here," said the former World Superbike Champion. "We're doing the same kind of work on set-up, but maybe a bit less than at recent races. I think the fact that I'm so used to riding the bike - I've hardly been off the thing in the last week - is also helping. I feel good here and the bike is working good.

"For a Friday I'm feeling pretty chuffed, especially since I got a bit of the hippy, hippy shakes just before the last fast rights that maybe cost me half a second on my best lap."

Loris Capirossi was up to sixth during the closing stages of the session, slipping to 11th at the chequered flag. However, the Ducati Marlboro Team rider is in confident mood, making good progress on his bike settings/tyre combination for Sunday's race.

"Overall, I feel that we are in better shape than we were at Mugello, though I feel I have to improve something in myself here," admitted the Italian. "As far as the bike goes, I'm quite happy with my pace.

"The conditions are really hot here, which will make life difficult for the tyres on Sunday, which is why I'm concentrating on trying to make the bike more rideable over race distance. My best qualifying lap today was okay, even if not perfect."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMI GAULOISES DE CATALUNYA, Ducati Marlboro Team

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