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Capirossi makes Ducati debut in Valencia

Capirossi makes Ducati debut in Valencia

Capirossi makes Ducati debut in Valencia

Within three days of the final MotoGP race of 2002, already many of the changes due to take place for next year´s competition have been witnessed first hand at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo. With Barros, Biaggi, Gibernau and McCoy all riding their new machines yesterday, today it was the turn of Loris Capirossi to become one of those making his debut on the four-stroke he will ride next season.

Capirossi had to wait until this morning before he could finally mount the Ducati Desmosedici bike already tested by his team-mate Troy Bayliss, and the factory tester Vittoriano Guareschi. The Italian rode a completely white machine, except for his personal logo, and did laps in short bursts as he aims to get used to Ducati´s new V4 engine. Having ridden a two-stroke machine all season, it will evidently take time for him to get to grips with the engine-braking of the four-stroke, and also the different acceleration characteristics.

´Today is a fantastic day for me, as I finally get my first chance to ride the four-stroke bike,´ stated the 29 year-old. ´I want to thank Sito [Pons] for giving me the chance to ride this bike today. It is now a completely different life for me because I have full factory support, and so we can improve the bike daily. This is just the first day, but I am so happy about the bike´s standard. My first feelings are that it is very good, the engine-braking is different of course compared to the two-stroke, but I have only just done a few laps. Ducati are working so hard on their MotoGP entry next year, and this is a big dream for both them and me.´

Ex-World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss will be making his MotoGP debut when he lines up in Suzuka next year. The 33 year-old Australian is a very experienced rider, and has already tested the bike twice previously, at Mugello and in Valencia. He was present once again in Spain to put the bike through its paces, as he gradually comes to terms with the extra power offered by the 990cc machine.

Bayliss explains, ´Every test we´ve ridden the bike, we´ve made good progress, and already we´ve gone better than we did here before. We are certainly heading in the right direction. Mainly the power is different from the Superbike, and it is fifteen kilos lighter. There are a few things similar, but it´s a new toy and we have a lot of things to learn. It is quite different to ride, but I am really enjoying it and I am looking forward with confidence to next year.´

Ducati´s tests will continue at Valencia tomorrow.

MotoGP, 2002

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