Ducati Valencia test notes 2003-02-22

Second day of SBK winter testing at Valencia interrupted by bad weather. Ruben Xaus (Team Ducati Fila) headed the timesheets today on the second day of official SBK pre-season testing at Valencia. In the afternoon the two Ducati Fila riders,...

Second day of SBK winter testing at Valencia interrupted by bad weather.

Ruben Xaus (Team Ducati Fila) headed the timesheets today on the second day of official SBK pre-season testing at Valencia. In the afternoon the two Ducati Fila riders, Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus did not go out onto the track after rain started to fall and two of the scheduled four sessions were not completed.

Spain's Xaus completed a total of 55 laps on the Ducati 999, the Italian manufacturer's new Superbike model, recording a time of 1'34.75, one-tenth of a second slower than the circuit record set by Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) and six tenths of a second quicker than his time recorded one month ago at the same track. Ruben tested new rear tyres made available by Michelin, and constantly lapped at this pace during his mini race simulation in the morning.

"Everything is going really well" declared Ruben at the end of the day. "We tried some new race tyres, even though we couldn't complete the entire programme due to the rain. The team is working well, and I'm getting a better felling with the 999 all the time. I made a good step forward with the bike here at Valencia because my time of 1'34.75 is the best I've ever recorded around here."

Neil Hodgson focussed mainly on bike settings, trying to eliminate weight transfer imbalance in braking and acceleration and the British rider completed 38 laps today, setting a best time of 1'35.04.

"I got caught out with the weather because I wanted to save my best time for the end of the day, but it's the same for everyone" commented Neil. "Today we made some progress with the 999 after going back to the settings I used in December. The handling now feels much better and I have a lot more confidence so I'm sure I can improve again tomorrow."

Tomorrow will see the third and final day of official SBK testing at Valencia.

OFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Xaus (Ducati Fila) 1'34.75; 2. Hodgson (Ducati Fila) 1'35.04; 3. Laconi (Ducati NCR) 1'35.68; 4. Chili (Ducati) 1'36.06; 5. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1'36.06; 6. Walker (HM Plant Ducati) 1'36.12; 7. Corser (Foggy Petronas) 1'36.40; 8. Lavilla (Suzuki) 1'36.47; 9. Borja (Ducati DFX) 1'36.51; 10. Garcia (Ducati NCR) 1'36.87.

-dc-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus , Ben Bostrom