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Ducati look for further progress

Ducati look for further progress

Ducati look for further progress

The Ducati Marlboro Team head to Estoril this week boosted by a fruitful test session following the recent Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky. After achieving top-five results in the last two rounds, the team clocked impressive lap times during the Brno session, putting both Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss in confident mood for the eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.

"Those two days at Brno were very useful in continuing the evolution of the Desmosedici GP4, so we are looking forward to getting back into action at Estoril," says Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "During this season we've had two priorities. First, to develop a user-friendly engine, and both riders are now very happy with the Twin Pulse motor. Second, to develop the chassis, so the bike feels easier to ride.

"Both Loris and Troy rode a lot of dry laps during the Brno tests, evaluating new Ohlins suspension settings, and both now feel more comfortable on the bike, with Loris feeling good enough to lap consistently faster than he had managed in the race.

"Everyone at Ducati Corse is working as hard as possible to continue evolving the bike and we hope that Estoril will allow us to prove that we have taken another step forward."

Estoril has the slowest average lap speed in MotoGP, at just 151kmh, but that doesn't make it an easy racetrack for riders or engineers. The track is a mass of contrasts - with a 321kmh main straight, plus the slowest corner on the calendar - the final chicane, which riders tackle at 60kmh. Meanwhile, turn five, which riders attack at over 220kmh is one of the fastest – making set-up work crucial.

"What we look for wherever we go is a suspension set-up that makes the bike easier to handle and more stable, and this is particularly important at Estoril," says Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "Normally these two characteristics aren't easy to achieve together but with careful work on suspension it is possible.

"We have made a big step forward with the Twin Pulse engine, now we are matching that engine improvement with an improved suspension set-up that will give us a good base set-up for every racetrack. Estoril is a very twisty circuit, so rapid steering is very important. It's also a track that we don't know that well - we've only spent three days there in total - though last year we had a good race."

To find out what Capirossi and Bayliss have to say about the Estoril circuit, click on the links at the top of the page.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRANDE PREMIO MARLBORO DE PORTUGAL

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