LANZI AND BAYLISS IN THE TOP THREE FOR DUCATI XEROX TEAM ON DAY 1 OF QATAR TEST
Losail (Qatar), Sunday 4 December: The first day of the Ducati Xerox Team's final 2005 testing session in the Gulf state of Qatar was a positive one as both Lorenzo Lanzi and Troy Bayliss set top 3 times on their Ducati 999 machines.
The three-day Pirelli tyre test at the Losail circuit is being attended by most of the World Superbike Championship's top teams and is an ideal opportunity for winter development work in perfect conditions in view of the opening round of the championship in February of next year at this same venue. Both Ducati Xerox Team riders concentrated on notching up the mileage with Pirelli tyres, with Bayliss in particular getting to know his new bike for 2006.
Lorenzo Lanzi continued his impressive form of late and the young Italian was quickest on the track all day until half an hour from the end, when 2005 champion Troy Corser (Suzuki) shaved tenths of a second off to go quickest overall. Lanzi then crashed with a couple of minutes to go before the end of the session, but was unhurt.
"Today was a good day for us" declared Lorenzo. "I was particularly motivated and managed to set a good time early on, a time that remained unbeaten for most of the day. Unfortunately shortly before the end of the session I suddenly lost the rear of my 999 in the quick chicane round the back of the circuit and crashed. I was unhurt but I'll be OK for tomorrow, when we hope to improve with the new Pirelli development tyres".
After not being able to test much at Valencia due to the poor weather conditions, Troy Bayliss spent most of the day familiarising himself with his new bike and tyres. The 36-year-old Australian was satisfied with his third quickest time behind Corser and Lanzi.
"Things were really good up to lunchtime and in fact I set my quick time in the morning" declared Troy. "Then in the afternoon I mainly concentrated on testing the front tyres, trying hard to feel the limit of the bike and I wasn't really looking for the lap times. We've got a lot more to test in the next couple of days and I'm sure I can improve. My wrist has had a couple more weeks to heal up and is now a lot better than it was at Valencia, and I'm feeling good on the bike so things are going well".
UNOFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Corser (Suzuki) 2m00.44s; 2. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 2m00.88s; 3. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 2m01.20s; 4. Toseland (Honda) 2m01.76s; 5. Haga (Yamaha) 2m01.92s; 6. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2m01.97s; 7. Muggeridge (Honda) 2m02.18s; 8. Pitt (Yamaha) 2m02.65s; etc.