The Ducati Marlboro Team has concluded its 2004 testing schedule in the best possible way at Valencia, Spain. Thanks to superb performances by its two riders, the Italian team went quicker than the 2004 pole mark set by Tamada (1m32.81s) and Biaggi's fastest lap (1m33.58s) recorded just over one month ago in the final GP of the season.
After yesterday's rain, perfect conditions today allowed Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa to put in a full day's work and conclude the final tests of the year with interesting times.
The Italian was particularly quick on Bridgestone qualifying tyres and set an excellent 1m32.67s in his 62 laps.
Loris Capirossi, on the evolution version of the Desmosedici GP4 with changes to the frame and the new swing-arm, tested a variety of suspension and chassis set-ups. The Italian said that he was pleased with the results obtained and motivated by the changes made to the bike and the new Bridgestone tyres.
"I am really satisfied with what we have been able to achieve on the one day that the track was dry, but I wasn't sorry that I got a chance to test the Bridgestone wets yesterday, which proved to be extremely valid tyres" commented Capirossi. "I'm pleased with the way things are going and the working method we are using. Today we did a lot of laps and tried a number of changes, obtaining some good times. It's as if we are about to start 2005 . and I'm feeling confident already".
Carlos Checa, with a total of 65 laps on the prototype Desmosedici GP5, was the quickest rider on the track with race tyres, setting a time of 1m33.09s. The Spanish rider, who preferred to focus on race set-up and not use qualifying tyres, has adapted quickly to the numerous changes he has encountered after signing for the Ducati Marlboro Team - bike, team and tyres - and has clearly demonstrated his motivation and professionalism.
Régis Laconi's period as Ducati Desmosedici development team test rider came to a positive end with a best time of 1m35.78s. Régis's total of 44 laps also included a crash, which luckily finished without any serious consequences. The Frenchman, who focussed on electronics and engine mapping work on the Italian V4 machine, has offered valid support in the development of the bike that will race in next year's MotoGP World Championship: a big thanks to him from Ducati Corse for the professional and positive attitude demonstrated in these tests.
The Ducati Marlboro Team's next testing session is scheduled for January 22-24, 2005 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
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