US GP: Ducati Saturday notes

Ducati Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau endured a difficult qualifying session at burning hot Laguna Seca today. The pair ended the outing 13th and 16th quickest, unable to get the best out of their Bridgestone tyres, although they ...

Ducati Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau endured a difficult qualifying session at burning hot Laguna Seca today. The pair ended the outing 13th and 16th quickest, unable to get the best out of their Bridgestone tyres, although they expect slightly better in tomorrow's race.

Conditions were scorching, with ambient temperatures nudging 40 degrees and track temperatures hitting 60 degrees, a MotoGP record. Usually the hottest MotoGP tracks are Sepang in subtropical Malaysia and Losail on the Arabian peninsular, where track temperatures reach the low-to-mid 50s.

Capirossi and Gibernau have both struggled to find a set-up that would allow them to exploit the performance of their Bridgestone front slicks. Thus when they fitted rear qualifying tyres this afternoon they didn't have enough front grip to improve their lap times for a better grid position.

LORIS CAPIROSSI, 13th fastest, 1m 24.268s

"This afternoon we made some big changes but they didn't help, the tyres didn't work and I lost some front feeling. I couldn't get the bike turned but when I pushed harder the front would tuck. We did make a step forward this morning and had hoped to make another step this afternoon but it didn't happen, so we will return to our earlier settings. It is a difficult situation - I was slower with qualifiers than with race tyres. I can only hope that we can find some more front feeling because in these conditions I will have to ride a defensive race. We are not here to make up the numbers, we want to win but at the moment we don't have what's required."

SETE GIBERNAU, 16th fastest, 1m 24.634s

"We can only improve from here. I did the same times with race tyres as I did with qualifiers but we're not happy with our race pace anyhow, even though it's not as bad as the qualifying standings make it look. The problem is that we can't solve our front-end problems. Also, I'm not great physically, so it's going to be an uphill race and we will just have to take it step by step. But I believe 100 percent in the team and in Bridgestone. Congratulations to Chris (Vermeulen) and to Bridgestone for their pole position which proves that the tyres aren't so bad."

-ducati-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Sete Gibernau
Teams Ducati Team