Valencia (Spain), 13 November 2003: The Ducati Fila 2004 World Superbike championship pairing of Regis Laconi and James Toseland made their first appearance for the team this week as they completed a three-day testing session at the Valencia circuit in Spain, organised by Pirelli. The Italian manufacturer will be official one-make tyre supplier for next season's World Superbike, World Supersport and European Superstock championships.
The 28 year-old Frenchman, who finished fourth in this year's championship, was quick right from the start of the test on Tuesday and ended up with a time of 1'35.6 on qualifying tyres, which was the quickest time recorded in the three days. During his total of 215 laps, Laconi also did several long-runs, setting a quickest time of 1'35.9.
"It's the first time I have ridden the 999 after following them around all year so I'm very happy!" declared Regis. "Ducati have made the 999 fast, it's so enjoyable to ride and I'm already working very well with the team. We have a good feeling with the bike and we did a lot of work in these days, testing a lot of tyres and changing the settings. The front tyre is already OK and good for my style of riding and it's important to set a good lap time right at the start".
Britain's James Toseland also got to grips with the championship-winning Ducati 999 and Pirelli rubber for the first time and the 23 year-old from Sheffield was pleased with his time of 1'36.4, recorded during a total of 195 laps.
"It's all new for me and the only thing familiar is the track!" joked Toseland. "The first three days have been difficult as I knew they would be, but we've just got to get into the massive learning curve. The chassis and the riding style of the 999 are very different so we're working hard on that as well. It's all just a confidence-building exercise really. I'm pleasantly surprised with the way everything went and we're not far off the times I set earlier this year. If we improve like this, I know it's going to be a good championship".
Lorenzo Lanzi continued testing with the Ducati 749R the Italian will race in the 2004 World Supersport championship, setting a quickest time of 1'39.3 in his 180 laps.