Ducati's second winter testing session at the Sepang circuit concluded today in less torrid heat than usual, which allowed riders and engineers to work in better conditions than the previous days (33° air/48° track).
The Ducati-Bridgestone Tyre Test Team returns home decidedly satisfied with this first testing session, which helped to bed in the new team and to lay the groundwork for the work ahead in the 2005 season. The Ducati Marlboro Team on the other hand will get very little rest as it heads for Australia, where it will continue development work on the Desmosedici GP5 from 17-19 February.
Loris Capirossi returned in the morning and immediately set a respectable time of 2m01.452s in his 42 laps. The Italian was also out on the track in the afternoon but was forced to call it a day as he continued to feel the effects of flu.
"It was a pity I was unable to get the most out of these days here at Sepang, but I wasn't really feeling well at all" declared Capirossi. "However I'm pretty pleased with what we managed to do, I like the bike a lot and I can immediately set a good pace. Hopefully I'll be in top form at Phillip Island".
Today was another hard day at work for team-mate Carlos Checa, who completed an excellent long-run using a latest-generation rear tyre. Checa did a 22-lap race simulation, maintaining a constant pace at around the low 2m02s mark.
"I had a good final day" commented Carlos, "and in particular a good long-run with a new rear tyre, which let me do an entire race distance at an excellent pace. I can't wait to arrive in Australia to get back to work again".
The Spanish rider completed a total of 77 laps today, with a best time of 2m01.844s.
Shinichi Itoh completed his acclimatisation work with the Tyre Test Team and the new bike as he continued with tyre development and focussed mainly on new race tyre compounds. The Japanese test-rider completed 43 laps today, setting a quickest time of 2m02.907s.
"I am really pleased with the innovations that 2005 has brought" declared Shinichi. "In Ducati I have found a very friendly and professional atmosphere. I also like the Desmosedici GP4, which I rode for the first time here at Sepang. Now I can say that I know it quite well and I have a good impression: I can't wait to step onto the GP5".
The Ducati Marlboro Team comes away from the Sepang with positive results and full of enthusiasm for the next tests. "We only concentrated on race set-up and we are really pleased with the way the testing session went" declared Corrado Cecchinelli, Ducati Marlboro Team Technical Director. "The tests carried out with the two new GP5 machines and with the new compounds went the way we hoped, and above all we have already managed to do a race distance with the new tyres. I am very pleased with the Test Tyre Team, with the way the work is progressing and its long-term development plan. I also like Itoh's approach: despite the fact that he only had one GP4 available, I was particularly impressed with the times he recorded and flattered by his positive comments about our bike".
Ducati Marlboro Team will be on track again:
- February 17/18/19 (Phillip Island)
- March 1/2/3 (Doha)
- March 18/19/29 (IRTA Test - Barcelona)
- March 25/26/27 (IRTA Test - Jerez)