Ducati Jerez IRTA test notes 2003-02-22

Bayliss & Capirossi pray for sun at rainy Jerez. Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi continued to make excellent progress during the year's first IRTA tests at Jerez today, despite heavy rain showers that forced them to...

Bayliss & Capirossi pray for sun at rainy Jerez.

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi continued to make excellent progress during the year's first IRTA tests at Jerez today, despite heavy rain showers that forced them to spend much of the morning in the pits. Both men are hoping to make up for lost time during tomorrow's final day, when the weather is expected to be better.

As yesterday, the Australian and the Italian focused on fine tuning chassis settings, even though the circuit was in poor condition throughout, the rain having washed dust and dirt onto the track.

"The work we're doing here is very important," said Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali. "We have a very precise schedule of work to do before the first race in April, with a lot to do in a short time. At the moment we have no real references at most of the GP circuits, so we have to work very efficiently, and losing half a day of a three-day test here could be critical. But we believe in the project and we believe in the enthusiasm and professionalism of the whole team. I'm particularly grateful to Troy and Loris today, because in spite of the conditions they both continued working to give us the maximum amount of information about the bike."

Former World Superbike champ Bayliss, who has never raced at Jerez, managed to ride 47 laps today, usefully expanding his knowledge of the Spanish circuit. "I could've sat around and done nothing, but even though the track wasn't in a great state, you never know what kind of conditions you're going to have to race in," he smiled. "Even at the end of the day a couple of the corners were still a bit sketchy, with a couple of guys going down, so I just hope we have a good day tomorrow. We've been mostly playing with chassis setting, plus I tried a few different front Michelins. I found a couple of things I liked today, so I'm feeling keen for tomorrow. I want a bit of sun, so I can do a lot of laps."

Capirossi, who has been racing here since 1990, rode 24 laps today, preferring not to take risks in the tricky conditions. But he also ended the day in good spirits. "The track was very dirty after the rain, which compromised our work today, but we still managed to get a lot done," he said. "We tried some new chassis solutions and different configurations, so we've kept moving ahead. But tomorrow we need sun!"

Tomorrow both riders plan to do their first serious tyre testing with Michelin's range of 2003 tyres, weather permitting.

Lap times
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1m 45.640s
Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1m 48.091s

-dc-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Troy Bayliss