RAIN LASHES FINAL DAY OF DUCATI XEROX TEAM TWO-DAY TEST AT EUROSPEEDWAY
Bologna (Italy), Thursday 21 July: The second and final day of the Ducati Xerox Team's two-day test at the Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany was cut short this afternoon as heavy rain lashed the circuit most of the day.
Régis Laconi and James Toseland managed to put in a full day's dry-weather testing on the Wednesday, but bad weather conditions meant that none of the riders from the various WSBK teams present for the testing session could improve their times today. Yesterday the Ducati Xerox Team focussed on learning the track and general set-up work in the morning, before testing tyres for the championship's one-make supplier Pirelli in the afternoon, while today the two riders concentrated on wet-weather tyres and set-up following a half-an-hour dry 'window' first thing in the morning. The top times recorded by both riders yesterday were 1m40.4s for Laconi, and 1m40.9s for Toseland on race tyres.
"Today it rained really a lot and the track became a bit dangerous because there was not much grip" declared Laconi. "But we worked really well these two days, despite the difficult conditions. Yesterday in particular I put in a lot of laps and we fitted the large 200mm rear tyre I used during the Misano weekend, and the results were very good."
"The first day was a bit disappointing because we didn't make much headway with the new front tyre and when I did have a decent front, the day was up and I was a bit behind with my time" commented Toseland. "Today I was the quickest before the rain and was looking forward to improving the rest of the day, but it didn't happen. Then when I did get confident in the rain, I took a bit of a dive while trying to break the two-minute barrier. It was good we did a lot of testing in the rain because it might be like that here in September."
This year World Superbike returns to the impressive speedway facility in the former East Germany for the first time in three years. The 4.265 km Lausitzring has twice been the venue for the German Round of the championship, in 2001 (when the wins went to Colin Edwards (Honda) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and the following year, when Ducati's Australian rider scored the double. This year's race, round 10 in the 12-round calendar, will be held on September 11.
UNOFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Vermeulen (Honda) 1m40.1s; Laconi (Ducati Xerox) 1m40.4s; 3. Lanzi (Ducati SC) 1m40.6s; 4. Toseland (Ducati Xerox) 1m40.9s; 5. Muggeridge (Honda) 1m41.2s; 6. Walker (Kawasaki) 1m41.3s; 7. Martin (Petronas) 1m42.0s; 8. Riba (Kawasaki) 1m42.3s; etc.