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D'Antin positive after Qatari test despite Rolfo's high speed shunt

D'Antin positive after Qatari test despite Rolfo's high speed shunt

D'Antin positive after Qatari test despite Rolfo's high speed shunt

The D'Antin Ducati team is back in Spain after a busy three-day test at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Italian rookie Roberto Rolfo made steady progress on the Desmosedici by improving his lap times every day, but suffered a high speed crash due to a blown tyre.

Rolfo was obviously shocked but unhurt, and manager Luis d'Antin was generally satisfied by the work done during the team's second test of the pre-season.

"Roberto progressed in Qatar, he begins to understand the differences between a MotoGP bike and a 250cc," commented the former rider.

"His lap times proved it, he already reached a good level of performance. On the last day, he lapped in 1'59.7 – he was only three seconds behind Tamada, who posted his best time on qualifying tyres. We also have to keep in mind the fact that he was still riding the 2003 Desmosedici. At the Official MotoGP Test in Barcelona, we should have the 2004 version and it will be a good opportunity to show our potential."

"So we are pretty happy with the work done so far, but we know there's much more to come, and we also look forward to the improvements Dunlop can do."

About Rolfo's crash, Luis d'Antin was reluctant to give technical details, but commented: "This kind of accident may happen when you're in a process as complicated as tyre testing. I won't go into technical details, because it's up to Dunlop to explain it, however their technicians know exactly what happened and it allows us to continue our work, with different types of compounds."

"Of course, we don't want to see another incident of this kind, but as I said, anything can happen and we already saw it at Mugello last year, when Bridgestone had some issues," added d'Antin. "Fortunately, Roberto is fine, even if he's probably still sore today."

In spite of this accident, the Spaniard was positive about the early days of his collaboration with Dunlop. "My first impression is better than what I could expect – as we heard that Dunlop was far behind the other manufacturers. They're not that far, but we still have a long way to go and obviously, we'll all have to work hard."

MotoGP, 2005

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