France: Ducati race report

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss finished this afternoon's sun-soaked French Grand Prix at Le Mans in eighth and tenth positions. The pair rode dogged races in the heat, securing valuable World Championship points and...

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss finished this afternoon's sun-soaked French Grand Prix at Le Mans in eighth and tenth positions. The pair rode dogged races in the heat, securing valuable World Championship points and gaining crucial data that will help them continue the process of developing the Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP4.

"We are still not that close to the leaders, but also not so far," said Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us. We also have plenty of ideas about improving our 2004 machine, and we stay here to test the bike tomorrow alongside two 2003 models which we have had built up. This comparison test is important for us, and it should help us to better understand our 2004 bike, which should speed up development. My thanks to the riders, the team, the factory, our sponsors and our technical partners Michelin and Shell Advance for helping us to move forward."

BAYLISS IMPROVES TO EIGHTH

Troy Bayliss produced a typically gritty performance at Le Mans today, coming through from a fourth-row start to finish eighth. The Australian ran tenth for the first few laps, then started making steady forward progress as he got comfortable aboard his Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP4, setting his fastest lap at two-thirds distance.

"I got going by mid-distance and the bike felt as good as it had all weekend on race tyres," he said. "It took me a while to find the limit, then once I'd found it, I started forcing it in places I probably shouldn't have! But I felt okay pushing hard. Tomorrow's test is pretty important for us. It should be interesting to understand a few things. Ducati only cares about lap times, and they'll support us to improve our performances."

CAPIROSSI RIDES DOGGED RACE TO TENTH

Loris Capirossi finished tenth today to put himself eighth in the World Championship points standings. Starting from ninth on the grid, the Ducati Marlboro Team man ran strongly early on, holding sixth spot at the end of the first lap, but he couldn't maintain that pace as the race wore on. Nevertheless he did finish the weekend with the highest top speed, his GP4 clocking 308.6kmh during today's race.

"Undoubtedly this isn't the best result ever," said the Italian after another determined ride. "Things weren't perfect, so I just tried to finish and get as many points as possible, just like I did at the first two races. We have an important test here tomorrow. As everyone knows we will test our 2003 machine alongside this year's bike. The new machine has good points and it has bad points, the idea of the test is to help us understand in what areas we can best improve this year's bike."

-ducati-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Troy Bayliss , Livio Suppo