Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa tried the
factory's new engine-braking system for the first time at Catalunya
today. Both men reckoned the new system, which has been extensively
tested by test rider Vitto Guareschi, to be very promising. However,
their progress was interrupted by two unrelated tumbles - Capirossi
suffering a highside crash on the exit of turn three, Checa slipping off
as he rode through the first chicane. Both riders will be able to
continue testing tomorrow, the last day of this three-day teams test
"The crashes were a shame because they interrupted our work and
prevented us from completing today's tyre testing programme with
Bridgestone," explained Ducati Marlboro Team Technical Director Corrado
Cecchinelli. "On the other hand we are happy that both Loris and Carlos
were able to test the new engine-braking system for the first time.
Vitto has done a lot of debugging and set-up work with the system and
both our Factory riders reckon it's already good and neither of them had
any problems with it. We may continue testing it at Jerez next week,
because tomorrow we want to focus on testing tyres. I think the system
is a very promising new development, though it's too early to say when
we will race with it. All I can say about the system at this stage is
that it's special software that manages both engine and clutch for
improved stability during braking, whereas last year we used an
idle-control system. Some people seem to think we are using a
semi-automatic gearbox here but we have no such thing. We tested a
semi-automatic gearbox on a Superbike some years ago but we've never
tried one on our MotoGP bike."
CAPIROSSI: 'NEW SYSTEM HAS GOOD POTENTIAL'
Loris Capirossi evaluated the new engine-braking system this morning,
focusing more on development work than on lap times. This afternoon he
was lucky to escape pretty much unscathed from a spectacular highside
tumble. The Ducati Marlboro Team man fell as he powered out of turn
"We started the day testing the new engine-braking system which seems
to have good potential but, of course, needs more development work,"
said Capirossi, 12th quickest today. "Because we were focusing on
evaluating the system we weren't able to really work on the rest of the
bike. So we still haven't found the perfect set-up for this track, which
is what we will work on tomorrow."
CRASH STOPS CHECA EARLY
Carlos Checa was baffled by his crash, which happened midway through
turn two (the left-hander in the first chicane) with no brake or
throttle input. The Ducati Marlboro Team rider suffered bruising to his
left shoulder and calf and underwent treatment at the Clinica Mobile to
ensure he's in good shape for testing tomorrow.
"The crash stopped me from doing more work on the new engine-braking
system, which was a shame," said the Spaniard who ended the day 14th
quickest. "I only didi two runs with this system, so I didn't have
enough time to fully understand it but I'm sure we will keep working on
it at the next tests".