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Bayliss back on the pace

Bayliss back on the pace

Bayliss back on the pace

Troy Bayliss was in flying form at Valencia this afternoon, wrestling his Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP4 around the tortuous Spanish track to go fastest with five minutes to go. By the end of the session he had slipped to fourth, just three tenths of a second outside a slot on the provisional front row of the grid, but is on course for his best qualifying position of the season if he can maintain his form tomorrow.

"That wasn't bad, we're going okay for the first day," said Bayliss. "But we've got to work some more on the rear end because at the moment we're working the tyre too much. If we can fix that we'll be right, just another small step tomorrow and I'll be happy.

"I'm reasonably happy anyway, though on my second qualifying run I lost the front a couple of times which cost me some time going into those turns, which also lost me some drive on the way out, but the lap time still wasn't that bad."

Boosted by his podium finish in Australia a fortnight ago, Bayliss' team-mate Loris Capirossi was also on form today, running sixth quickest and ending the session just two tenths slower than the Australian. Capirossi is hoping for even better tomorrow, when conditions are expected to be warmer.

"This morning was really cold so we had some traction problems, though I guess that was the same for everyone," said the Italian. "We've had to work hard on set-up because our Phillip Island settings aren't good here.

"We made a good step forward this afternoon, working mostly on the front end. I've now got a good feeling from the front but with a few more adjustments I think we can make it a little better.

"We're quite close to the leaders and I might've been even closer if I hadn't made a little mistake on my qualifying tyres - and in this wind a little mistake becomes a big mistake. At the moment I'm feeling okay and looking forward to some warmer weather tomorrow."

Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo added: "That was a positive session for us. Both our riders did a good job, so it looks like we're working towards a strong finish to the season. We aren't using any of the new parts we tested at Phillip Island after the Australian GP because they were prototype parts, which are the start of our 2005 preseason testing programme."


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