The Jerez de la Frontera circuit, the venue for a fantastic opening round win for Loris Capirossi in the MotoGP championship eight months ago, was also the scene for the final testing session of the year which concluded today.
Good weather conditions allowed the Ducati Marlboro Team and the Test Team to complete the scheduled work load. At the end of the morning, when the track surface had reached a reasonable temperature, the Italian team's riders went out on the track for the final day of testing before the end-of-season winter ban comes into force. Today both riders were busy trying out a series of new Bridgestone tyres as well as carrying out suspension and engine development work.
Loris Capirossi completed 49 laps, setting a quickest time of 1m41.492s.
"It was quite a positive day today. We still need more time to develop the GP7 and adapt it better to my riding style. I still can't get it to do what I like but the base is good and I am sure that in the month and a half before the next test in Sepang they will get to work back in the factory on the basis of the indications from this test. Today we didn't use any qualifying tyres but instead concentrated on the new rubber that Bridgestone brought along, which proved to be suitable to the characteristics of the 800 and which I liked quite a lot. Now it's time for some hard-earned rest after a fantastic but extremely tough season!"
Casey Stoner did 52 laps of the Jerez track with a best time of 1m41.595s.
"Every day we are gaining more and more experience. There are still a few things to improve but considering the number of tests before the first race in 2007 I think that we will be competitive next year. Today we focussed on the engine to help smooth out the harsh power delivery under acceleration at the rear. We saw a lot of progress throughout the day and I am satisfied with the work that we got through".
In 2006 the Ducati Marlboro Team has been on the track for a total of 80 days on 17 different circuits (10 in Europe and 7 overseas): 51 for races and 29 for testing.
A vital contribution to the development work has also been made in the background but with exactly the same passion, by the Test Team, Vittoriano Guareschi and the engineers and technicians of Ducati Corse. Together, and with the indispensable support of technical partners Bridgestone and Shell Advance, they have continued with the development work and helped with the cross-over of knowledge from the track to the production line.
Everyone has made a contribution to the results of the 2006 season, the best yet for Ducati in MotoGP: 4 fastest laps, 3 pole positions, 9 podiums and 4 wins.