Ducati Xerox Team riders Troy Bayliss and Lorenzo are gearing up for this weekend's high-speed thrash around the legendary Autodromo di Monza on the outskirts of Milan. After a shaky start to the season both riders are now on more firmer ground and from the Monza round onwards Troy and Lorenzo will be setting their sights on being permanent front-runners to boost their championship positions.
Troy Bayliss, 4th in championship (128 points);
Troy, who has taken double wins on each of the last three Monza events he has taken part in - 2001, 2002 and 2006 - has a special feeling with the high-speed track.
"I wish I knew what the magical connection was!" declared Troy. "I guess it goes back to when I first had my first ride here in 2000. It was my second chance to go with the factory Ducati team and I made a pretty good result - two fourth positions but I actually led the race a few times. I did one banzai move in the first chicane, people remember that! Actually after that weekend I was signed on full time to take Carl's place and then I became part of the factory team. Then I came back to Monza and I haven't lost since. It's very special, always busy for all of us in the team, but when I'm here I feel that everyone is going for Ducati and me. I reckon James Toseland will be the main man to beat here, but Max Biaggi and Noriyuki Haga as well, it'll be a real dogfight this weekend, there'll be 5 or 6 of us fighting like in Assen."
Lorenzo Lanzi, 7th in championship (98 points);
Lorenzo's best result at Monza is last year's ninth place and he will certainly be aiming to improve on that result this weekend in front of his home crowd.
"The track is not one of the best for bikes because of the long straights but Monza is always a special race for the public and there's always a big crowd" commented Lorenzo. "For sure I want to do better than last year, tomorrow morning I'll immediately start to put in as many laps as possible, just like we did at Assen, where we had a good weekend despite not getting the best of results. I think that this year the race will be tougher than in previous years because the Japanese bikes are at a good level of development but I am optimistic because here Ducati has always gone well and Troy and I will be giving our everything to stay ahead of the other guys."
Guest of honour in the Ducati Xerox Team pit garage on the day dedicated to the press and PR activities was the legendary Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi. The Italian manufacturer Bianchi, who have signed an agreement with Ducati, have produced an exclusive range of Bianchi-Ducati Corse bikes, including four racing bikes (Factory), three MTBs (Scrambler) and a Street Bike, all with Ducati-inspired names. In a short ceremony in the Ducati Xerox Hospitality, Gimondi presented keen cyclist Troy Bayliss with a special racing model.
Bosch are also partner of Ducati for the Superbike World Championship 2007. During the three Italian legs of the championship, which the team from Bologna won in 2006, the innovations and promotions for Bosch's Professional Power Tools line will be presented. The circuits of Monza (10-13 May), Misano (14-17 June) and Vallelunga (27-30 September) will play host to exhibitors and demonstration tests via which the German company will make its products known to the public, who can also test them. Throughout the weekend all Ducati fans can visit the Bosch stand and compete in various power tool tests, repairing Ducatis and carrying out maintenance work: for example polishing and stripping the paint off fairings and other bodywork parts, replacing mechanical and engine parts, assembling and dismantling the clutch and changing wheels.