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Capirossi fastest whilst Xaus crashes on second day at Phillip Island

Capirossi fastest whilst Xaus crashes on second day at Phillip Island

Capirossi fastest whilst Xaus crashes on second day at Phillip Island

The second day of factory MotoGP tests at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia proved to be both exciting and emotional, particularly for Ducati. The Italian factory saw MotoGP rookie Ruben Xaus airlifted to hospital by helicopter after a nasty crash at lunchtime, only to be later told that he had no major injuries, before Loris Capirossi set the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1'30.71. It was a morale boosting effort for Capirossi and Ducati, edging closer to the time of 1'30.496 he set at the Grand Prix in October when he started from second on the grid, in just their second test with the radically updated 2004 version of the Desmosedici machine.

Xaus' crash was the talking point of the day, however, the Spaniard losing control of his 2003 version Desmosedici but hanging on as it slid into the tyre wall at the end of Siberia. The track was closed as the wreckage was cleared and Xaus was flown to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, where 125cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa spent two weeks after breaking both his ankles in a crash at the same circuit last year. Xaus was admitted to the hospital as a precautionary measure but was diagnosed as having bruising to the neck and back and was due to return to Phillip Island this evening, when he would make a decision with the D'Antin Ducati team whether or not to ride on Thursday.

Despite his crash, which occurred at around 12:10pm and saw the circuit closed until after lunch at 2pm, Xaus and the rest of the MotoGP riders had made the most of relatively cool conditions to set their fastest laps in the morning as ambient temperatures rose to around 26º and track temperatures as high as 38º on a gloriously sunny afternoon which was spared of the stiff breezes that hampered some riders on Tuesday. Valentino Rossi seemed to find the front end stability he was looking for from the Yamaha yesterday as he clocked the second quickest time of the day with a 1'30.75, around 0.6 seconds off the pole position time he recorded here in October riding the Honda. The quickest Honda of the day, meanwhile, was Sete Gibernau with a 1'30.81 whilst his team-mate Colin Edwards, the fastest man on the first day, was again on form with a time of 1'30.97.

Unofficial lap times

Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 1'30.71 (65 laps)
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha): 1'30.75 (70 laps)
Sete Gibernau (Honda) : 1'30.81 (60 laps)
Colin Edwards (Honda): 1'30.97 (58 laps)
Max Biaggi (Honda): 1'31.07 (86 laps)
Nicky Hayden (Honda): 1'31.18 (88 laps)
Makoto Tamada (Honda): 1'31.25 (54 laps)
Troy Bayliss (Ducati): 1'31.56 (63 laps)
Alex Barros (Honda): 1'31.59 (88 laps)
Ruben Xaus (Ducati): 1'31.64 (48 laps)
Neil Hodgson (Ducati): 1'31.77 (69 laps)
Marco Melandri (Yamaha): 1'31.70 (84 laps)
Carlos Checa (Yamaha): 1'31.80 (70 laps)
Norick Abe (Yamaha): 1'33.74 (54 laps)

MotoGP, 2003

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