BSB - Airwaves Ducati Feeling Confident After Their Final Test In Albacete - March 17th 2006
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The Airwaves Ducati team are in confident mood after their final test in Albacete, Spain. The team will now return home to focus on Round One at Brands Hatch in a week's time.
Leon Haslam completed 132 laps of the circuit, recording a fastest time of 1m30.44 whilst Gregorio Lavilla rode 127 laps clocking a fastest time of 1m30.45. Both riders utilised the team's last test before the start of the 2006 Bennetts British Superbike Season to complete two simulated race runs in which they both averaged 1m31.0 laps.
Only one one-hundredths of a second between their fastest lap times and similar lap time averages during race simulation goes to prove how close the two Airwaves Ducati riders will push each other over the coming season.
Both riders were happy with how the final test had gone and eager for the season the start.
Lavilla said "The test has gone very well here in Albacete, the team and the bike are working well and it has all gone as planned. I am very happy with everything as I have been consistently fast, which has been pleasing, and now I am hoping it all goes well at Brands Hatch."
Haslam added "It's been fantastic, another good test. I was the quickest by the end of the day and both Gregorio and I were the quickest on the track. I had two good race simulations with good average lap times and some fast laps. On the whole I am really happy with the bike and how testing has gone here, I am now just looking forward to getting started with the races."
Having been given full factory support for 2006, the Airwaves Ducati team have had to learn the operations of the new Ducati 999F06 during the course of the four tests. Team Manager Colin Wright is pleased with how the team has dealt with the changes, "Testing started off with a big learning curve with a new bike, new electronics and a lot of major changes from last year. However now that the final test is over I feel that we are all working well as a team, we are all very excited about the start of the season ahead and also very optimistic!"
The testing in Albacete may have been the last chance for the 2005 champion Gregorio Lavilla and one of the strong contenders for the 2006 title, Leon Haslam, to ride their bikes prior to the start of the season but it was also an exclusive opportunity for Michael Neeves from MCN to test ride an Airwaves Ducati 999F06. A full and exclusive review of the bike test will be in the next issue of MCN, out on Wednesday 22nd March.