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Domenicali happy with Ducati fightback

Domenicali happy with Ducati fightback

Domenicali happy with Ducati fightback

Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali says he is happy with the recent progress of Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss after difficult starts to the 2004 MotoGP World Championship for both riders. The introduction of a radical new version of the Desmosedici meant that neither the Italian nor the Australian were able to reproduce their stunning form from last year, but Domenicali insists they are still on target to meet their long-term objectives.

"I think that we outperformed our expectation and the expectation of everyone last year," reflects Domenicali. "Everyone was waiting a lot for our results in the championship this year. This year the championship has proven to be very difficult. There are a lot of strong guys on very fast bikes and for sure our results in the beginning of the season were a bit difficult but we are quite happy of the recovery we are having and the second part.

"At the beginning of the season we changed the different settings on the bike and the different engine and the riders have recovered their confidence and so we are very happy with the recovery."

The recent introduction of a ‘big bang style' Twin Pulse engine has seen huge improvements in the performance of the D16 GP4 – an advancement Domenicali explains had been in the pipeline from the very beginning of the project.

"Really the concept was there from the very beginning it was the very first engine we tested both on the dyno and on the race track," he says. "But it was proven to be unreliable at that time with not enough power, so it took time to, let's say, change the specification and to arrive to a version of the twin pulse that have enough power, and enough drivability.

"Really, last time we were more focused on racing the bike and so we took a while to develop this new version of the twin-pulse."

The Italian recognises that the poor performance of the bike at the start of the year had a negative psychological effect on the riders, but says he expects good form from both between now and the end of the year.

"I think that the beginning of the season has been difficult for everyone and for sure both of them in some of the races were… for a while, without the strong motivation they had in all the races of last year - but it's a kind of the process we know.

"Once things get difficult sometimes it's difficult to keep concentration for ever so we are quite happy because both of them now are feeling good with the new engine and so they recovered fully their confidence and their motivation and we are looking forward for the second part of the season."

MotoGP, 2004

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