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Positive start for factory Ducati riders

Positive start for factory Ducati riders

Positive start for factory Ducati riders

The Ducati Marlboro Team returned to the Motegi circuit after its one and only appearance last year and completed the first day of qualifying for the Camel Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi with a positive fifth quickest time for Loris Capirossi and ninth place for Troy Bayliss.

Both engineers and riders of the Italian team expressed satisfaction over today's results but are ready to resume set-up work on the Ducati Desmosedici GP4 tomorrow morning with a fresh set of data accumulated during today's session, which saw American John Hopkins emerge as the provisional pole-sitter.

"The result was quite positive for the first day at this circuit, which we know very little about" commented Livio Suppo, director of the Ducati Marlboro Team. "On paper the Motegi track didn't look very friendly for us, instead today our riders lapped quite well on both qualifying and race tyres.

"Clearly the general balance of the Desmosedici GP4 has improved a lot: of course we still have more work to do but we are certain we can improve and today is a good starting-point".

Loris Capirossi ended the first day of qualifying in fifth position, which earned him a provisional second row grid slot for Sunday's race. The Italian, who scored the last-ever podium finish for a two-stroke MotoGP bike at this circuit in 2002, was quite pleased with his performance today and is convinced he can improve further on Saturday.

"I'm pleased with the way things went today, fifth quickest time on this track is not bad at all" declared Capirossi. "Unfortunately I was not able to do many laps because I had a few minor problems that prevented me from setting the bike up exactly the way I wanted, but all things considered we're not in a bad position and even with race tyres we have quite a good pace.

"However we must improve and we've still got a few more ideas for tomorrow's two hours of practice and qualifying".

Capirossi's team-mate Troy Bayliss, with ninth quickest time today, holds a provisional third row grid position. "I am pretty happy, we made good progress for the first day and that's the best qualifying I've done for a while" declared Bayliss.

"I felt comfortable on the bike and the race tyre was really good. I made a little mistake in my quick lap because one split was not so good. Hopefully I can improve the feeling at the front a bit more to make a little step further forward tomorrow and then I'll be feeling quite good about the race on Sunday."


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