DUCATI XEROX TEAM PREPARES FOR START OF CHAMPIONSHIP WITH FINAL WINTER TEST SESSION AT VALLELUNGA Vallelunga (Italy), 12th February 2007: The Ducati Xerox Team has concluded its pre-season testing schedule with two days at the Vallelunga circuit...
DUCATI XEROX TEAM PREPARES FOR START OF CHAMPIONSHIP WITH FINAL WINTER TEST SESSION AT VALLELUNGA
Vallelunga (Italy), 12th February 2007: The Ducati Xerox Team has concluded its pre-season testing schedule with two days at the Vallelunga circuit on the outskirts of Rome, where the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship will be held in September. For two-times world champion Bayliss, it was his first taste of the Vallelunga circuit, while Lorenzo Lanzi has already raced here in 2003, on the old track before recent modifications lengthened it to 4.11 km. Sunday's good weather was followed by wintry conditions today, but at the end of the two days both riders were pleased with the work done in view of the championship opener in Qatar in a couple of weeks time.
The quickest time of the test, 1m38.5s, was set on Sunday by Troy Bayliss, who also had positive things to say about the Rome track.
"I guess the most important thing for us was to actually come here because it's the only place on the calendar this year that I haven't seen" declared Troy. "We were limited with laps due to the weather but considering the time I had yesterday we did a pretty good job, setting 38.5 a few times when we only rode in the afternoon and today we made hardly any laps either. This afternoon I went out in the rain as well, which was confidence-inspiring because it's been a while since I've ridden in the rain. I like the circuit because it's got a bit of character about it, very up and down, and quite physical as well but I think it'll make for a good race here. The championship starts in ten days time and I'm born ready!"
Despite suffering from a nasty bronchitis, team-mate Lanzi also lapped quick on the opening day, the Italian setting a time of 1m38.6s, one-tenth of a second slower than the Australian.
"These have been a couple of strange days due to the conditions but in the end we managed to test a few things in the sixty or so laps we did yesterday" commented Lorenzo. "I have come back to Vallelunga for the first time in three years and I have to say I quite like the track now. We already have some good reference data for the race here in September. The championship gets underway shortly, we have done a lot of testing during the winter, setting excellent times, so I would say we are ready. I hope to shake off this bronchitis and get back to form in time for the opening round. I'm feeling confident about the season ahead and can't wait for it to start".