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Ducati debut with Bridgestone at Jerez

Ducati debut with Bridgestone at Jerez

Ducati debut with Bridgestone at Jerez

The Ducati Marlboro team completed their first tests with Bridgestone tyres in a busy MotoGP test at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Tuesday.

Whilst Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa were joined on track by Régis Laconi for the Italian factory, Jeremy McWilliams tested the hybrid prototype built by Proton Team KR with a KTM engine and Shane Byrne returned from injury to lap alongside Marcelino Lucchi at Aprilia.

Ducati pair Capirossi and Checa set the pace on the first of a three-day test and were both inside Valentino Rossi's lap record of 1'42.788, set in 2003 riding a Honda. However, Capirossi was understandably cautious and insisted that they must not read too much into lap times at this early stage.

"We can't really take too many conclusions from today because as well as the fact that the Bridgestone tyres were new to us, we are working with a new bike and everything has yet to be put in its place," said Capirossi.

"In any case the first impressions are good and we know that at Bridgestone they will be working for us. If Ducati took that decision it is because it was the best one to take.

"This year the Bridgestones went really well at some circuits and not so well at others, so I hope we can find the consistency to be at the front on a regular basis. We have got a lot of work to do but we are already on the right lines."

Also on track were the Fuchs Kawasaki pair of Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, as well as HRC test rider Shinichi Itoh, who continued development work for the Japanese factory with Bridgestone tyres. More HRC representatives are expected to lap tomorrow, including the eagerly anticipated debuts of Troy Bayliss and Marco Melandri.

Unofficial lap times:

Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 1'42'293
Carlos Checa (Ducati): 1'42,470
Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki): 1'42'689
Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki): 1'43'009
Régis Laconi (Ducati) : 1'44'185
Shane Byrne (Aprilia) : 1'44'753
Jeremy McWilliams (Proton KR / KTM): 1'45'689
Marcellino Lucchi (Aprilia): 1'45'867

MotoGP, 2004

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