DUCATI XEROX TEAM IN ACTION AT QATAR: LACONI FOURTH QUICKEST - TOSELAND ON THE PACE BUT CRASHES Losail (Qatar), Sunday 20 February: RÃ©gis Laconi and James Toseland (Ducati Xerox Team) wrapped up their preparations for the 2005 World Superbike...
DUCATI XEROX TEAM IN ACTION AT QATAR: LACONI FOURTH QUICKEST - TOSELAND ON THE PACE BUT CRASHES
Losail (Qatar), Sunday 20 February: Régis Laconi and James Toseland (Ducati Xerox Team) wrapped up their preparations for the 2005 World Superbike Championship with fourth and tenth quickest times respectively as the FGSport-organised pre-season tests at the Losail circuit in Qatar drew to a close.
All the WSBK contenders were again able to lap in perfect conditions today and accumulate a further five hours of valuable practice time prior to the race next Saturday. Both Laconi and Toseland were among the front-runners as the Suzuki pairing of Yukio Kagayama and Troy Corser ended up first and second fastest.
Day 2 saw Toseland suffer a nasty highside right after the British rider had set a quick lap of 2m02.639s early in the afternoon session. The world champion was going through the fast right-hander turn 13 when he lost the rear of his Ducati 999F05 and was catapulted into the air. Toseland landed heavily and suffered bruising to his left elbow and right upper backside.
"I was going into the second of the three successive fast right-handers and the rear let go" explained Toseland. "I just looped over and landed on my side. I've never been up that high before!. Everything's OK, I just need a couple of days rest, that's all and then I'll be back. It's a pity really, because the bike felt a lot better this afternoon and it was unlucky to cancel out the progress we had made".
Régis Laconi made a major improvement today during his long-run to move into fourth. He then consolidated his position in the afternoon with a lap of 2m01.827s, a time he set on the one Pirelli qualifying tyre available for each rider.
"We worked very hard, the most important thing today was to have the durability in the front tyre and I am very happy with that after setting a good time on lap 17 of the long-run in the afternoon. We have to find a bit more speed now that we have durability, but the feeling is coming good and we made good progress from yesterday. Like everyone else we put a soft tyre on in the end and the lap time was good. We did a lot of testing but it's very nice to be fast at the finish. Now we have to wait and see what will happen on Saturday", declared Laconi.
The opening round of the 2005 world championship at the Losail circuit gets underway later this week, with free practice and qualifying taking place on Thursday and Friday and the two 18-lap races scheduled for Saturday.
OFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2m01.480s; 2. Corser (Suzuki) 2m01.554s; 3. Cardoso (Yamaha) 2m01.797s; 4. Laconi (Ducati Xerox) 2m01.827s; 5. Gimbert (Yamaha) 2m01.956s; 6. Silva Alberola (Yamaha) 2m02.194s; 7. Walker (Kawasaki) 2m02.442s; 8. Borciani (Yamaha) 2m02.584s; 9. Haga (Yamaha) 2m02.591; 10. Toseland (Ducati Xerox) 2m02.639; etc.