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Capirossi confirms candidature at final preseason Test

Capirossi confirms candidature at final preseason Test

Capirossi confirms candidature at final preseason Test

On a day in which preseason testing drew to a close, a crowd of over 5,000 spectators saw veteran Loris Capirossi demonstrate why he is a serious title contender for 2006.

The Ducati rider today earned the fastest lap of the three day Jerez Test, a 1'39.411 which knocked eight milliseconds off Valentino Rossi's 2005 pole position.

"The truth is that a lot of things have changed since we tested in November. We have improved in many areas and now we have a bike which is very competitive here, we can go round fast and are in a good rhythm. We are hoping that things go well for us at the Grand Prix in less than two weeks," explained Capirossi.

The Italian was fastest on Friday's session at the Andalusian circuit, along with team-mate Sete Gibernau, a feat which was mirrored in today's final outing. Gibernau was the only other rider to break the 1'40 barrier, and the Ducati one-two is a positive sign for both the team and Bridgestone.

After topping the timesheets yesterday, Shinya Nakano was once again in fine form onboard the Kawasaki Ninja. Third today, he was joined in the top ten by fellow Kawasaki rider and MotoGP rookie Randy de Puniet in the top five.

Another rookie to place highly was Spaniard Dani Pedrosa. The reigning 250cc champion put in a fourth placed lap a second off that of Capirossi, but will be pleased at the amount of kilometres he has been able to ride on the RC211V this weekend. Team-mate Nicky Hayden was the next highest Honda rider in sixth, ahead of countryman Colin Edwards.

Edwards' Yamaha was part of a group of three bikes to go round within a tenth of each other. Immediately behind the Texan was Toni Elias, at his home circuit on the final Honda to place in the top ten, who in turn was pursued by Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen.

Completing the top half of the table was reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi. The charismatic Italian propped up the top ten on a day where many teams were focusing their energies on tyre testing. It will only be with the first free practices and race of the season, which will take place at the Circuito de Jerez in two weeks' time, that the true potential of the title contenders will become apparent. However today's final day of testing, under dry sunny conditions with a temperature of around 25 degrees, has served as a tasty appetiser ahead of March 26th's main course.

Jerez Test – MotoGP
Times: Day 3

1. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 1'39.411
2. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 1'39.663
3. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.354
4. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'40.416
5. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.468
6. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 1'40.570
7. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 1'40.721
8. Toni Elías - Fortuna Honda 1'40.732
9. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'40.750
10. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 1'40.907
11. Carlos Checa- Tech 3 Yamaha 1'41.134
12. Marco Melandri- Fortuna Honda 1'41.208
13. John Hopkins - Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'41.208
14. Makoto Tamada- Konica Minolta Honda 1'41.380
15. Kenny Roberts - Team Roberts 1'41.673
16. Jose Luis Cardoso - D'Antin Pramac 1'41.761
17. Alex Hofmann - D'Antin Pramac 1'42.034
18. James Ellison- Tech 3 Yamaha 1'42.686
19. Vittoriano Guareschi- Ducati 1'42.759
20. Tadayuki Okada - HRC 1'43.513.

MotoGP, 2006

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