Bayliss on race pace, Capirossi falls in windy conditions. Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi battled strong, gusting winds at Jerez today as they completed their first group test session on the Desmosedici V4. Despite...
Bayliss on race pace, Capirossi falls in windy conditions.
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi battled strong, gusting winds at Jerez today as they completed their first group test session on the Desmosedici V4. Despite less than perfect weather throughout the three days - low track temperatures on Friday and rain yesterday - both men believe they have made important progress.
Bayliss was particularly happy at the end of the day, having completed an impressive race simulation with Michelin's latest 2003 tyres. Capirossi however had a more torrid time, falling twice in the afternoon, the first when he was caught out by a gust of wind.
"We dedicated today to testing Michelin's new tyres, doing almost no other work on set-up", said Ducati Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "Troy did a long run at a good pace but we weren't so lucky with Loris. He lost the front twice. Both guys found the latest rear tyres very promising, and Troy also found a better front tyre."
Bayliss, whose average pace during the race simulation was an impressive 1'43.5, was delighted with progress and keen to continue testing at Estoril next week. "The whole test has gone pretty good, we've kept moving forward," said the former World Superbike Champion. "This is my third time at this track, so I expected some good times. We've made good progress and we've got some more ideas for the next test, and that's what it's all about. The track could've been better today, but I'm quite happy with the long run we did at the end of the afternoon. We've run Michelin's new tyres and they feel good, the engine feels good too and we only did a little bit of playing around with the suspension today."
Capirossi was happy enough with progress, despite two minor falls, the wind also claiming other victims during the day. "After two crashes I decided to concentrate on testing tyres and settings, because conditions weren't right for trying to go really fast," said the Italian, who nevertheless proved that he had lost none of his confidence by setting his fastest lap of the day on his penultimate lap. "Despite the crashes, everything has gone well from a set-up point of view, but unfortunately there was too much wind for me to give a good lap-time performance."
Bayliss and Capirossi continue the Desmosedici test programme at Estoril, Portugal, next week, and then take Ducati's MotoGP project to the next level at Catalunya, Spain, in mid-March, when they will ride their definitive 2003 bikes for the first time. The 16-round MotoGP World Championship commences at Suzuka, Japan, on April 6.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Marlboro Team) , 86 laps, best of 1m42.890s
Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team), 48 laps, best of m1m43.541s