A three-day test for Ducati at the Phillip Island circuit got underway today. The excellent work carried out by the Ducati Marlboro Team in the recent tests at Sepang allowed Loris Capirossi to rapidly find a good set-up on his Desmosedici GP7 and he ended the day just a few tenths of a second off the circuit record.
The first day of testing on his home circuit for Casey Stoner was also positive. As well as starting the schedule for the three days, the young Australian has also completely resolved the problems with his forearms that had conditioned his testing in Malaysia and was able to put in a total of 60 laps before the session was cut short by rain.
The early ideal conditions (sunny, 24°C) gradually gave way to strong winds and then rain at around 4pm in the afternoon. The forecasts however are positive for tomorrow and especially for Thursday's final day.
Loris Capirossi (46 laps, best time 1m30.78s);
"I am satisfied, today we worked well and completed the entire schedule for today. The settings we found at Sepang allowed us to start from a good base which proved to be valid also for this track and the bike went well right from the early laps, even though we still have margin for improvement. As we are already at a good point with the set-up, tomorrow we'll start working on the tyres seeing as today we only used 2006-spec rubber. I am feeling really confident and pleased with the way the bike's development is going".
Casey Stoner (60 laps, best time 1m31.44s);
"It's great to be at home and feel good on the bike: the problems with my arms that I had at Sepang have completely cleared up and today I was able to concentrate on the bike. We are mainly working on the rear set-up to improve stability coming out of corners and we have a few things to try tomorrow when we start using the new tyres. Today I did 60 laps and I would have continued had it not started to rain. Let's hope that the weather is good tomorrow because I'm anxious to continue working with the Desmosedici".
Alex Barros (1'30.670 - 51 laps):
"Today we began at our best! I am very satisfied with the work done by my Team. The base set-up after the Malaysian test was good, and after making some slight modifications, I was able to find a good feeling with the bike. After some difficulties at the beginning of the session, we worked on the settings and on the software, obtaining a good final result. In the afternoon we didn't make many laps, but we tried some BRIDGESTON E tires that worked very well with the bike. I am feeling very good with the DUCATI GP7, and I have to say that is a really good project. Tomorrow we will continue working on the set-up we established today, and we hope for good weather conditions".
Alex Hofmann (1.31.50 - 74 laps):
"This was the first positive day. We started the day well, working on the set-up and defining a setting that allowed me to be consistent. The modifications to the height of the bike, and on the suspensions, allowed me to improve my laptimes during the day. The grip from the rear is good and the bike is easy to ride, but I don't have the necessary feeling from the front. In the fast corners I had some difficulties and today's high winds didn't help me for sure. I am confident we will improve in the next two days, because our potential is very high. I am feeling physically s trong after my illness in Malaysia, so now I can work at my best".
Marco Melandri (67 laps,1.30.75):
"I'm very happy of this first day of testing. Today we focused on chassis and suspensions in order to create a base. We found the line quite soon starting from the setting of the last test in Malaysia. I have a good feeling with the front and I like the bike. We also worked on the electronic of the engine. Unfortunately, because of the rain, we couldn't start working with Bridgestone, so we will focus more tomorrow on tyre testing.
I feel very well and during this week I trained a lot with my bicycle here in Phillip Island, despite the cold temperatures and the heavy wind".
Toni Elias (76 laps, 1.32.0):
"We still have a lot of work to do but I'm confident because we are improving and we keep on working with calm and method. I need to improve my feeling with the front, we are working on it. As for the tyres, Bridgestone is doing a great job. We haven't at the moment the right tyre for my riding style but the tyre technicians have promised me that they will bring starting from the test in Qatar or, at latest, in Jerez. I'm confident, we are not too far from where we should be. Moreover, Phillip Island has always been a demanding track for me".
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda (48 laps - 1'32.230");
"I started to run a slight fever the night before the test and also began to get a little bit of a stomach ache. Unfortunately both of these symptoms carried on through to today and worsened. Because of my condition, it was decided with the team to reduce our programme of testing for the day and let me recover and aim to be in much better health for tomorrow. I think this was best choice as we tested up to 2.30pm in afternoon just 30 minutes before the rain hit, so hopefully we've not lost much time. I'm going to rest now for the rest of the day and hopefully I'll be much better by tomorrow."
"Like in Malaysia last week we are still working hard on the development of the RC212V
focusing our work mainly on the chassis set up. I put many miles on the bike today (73 laps)
testing different tyres; this is a "fast" track and we must improve the grip both in the front and in
the rear. Unfortunately it started to rain at 4.00 pm thus I hope in a better weather condition for
- Phillip Island lap record: Marco Melandri (Honda) 2005, 1m30.332s
- Phillip Island pole record: Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2006, 1m29.020s
Temperature: air 24° / track from 20° to 30°C.
Unofficial times, Tuesday 30 January:
- 1. Barros (Ducati) 1m30.60s (51 laps)
- 2. Melandri (Honda) 1m30.70s (67)
- 3. Capirossi (Ducati) 1m30.78s (46)
- 4. Hayden (Honda) 1m31.18s (45)
- 5. Pedrosa (Honda) 1m31.29s (78)
- 6. Stoner (Ducati) 1m31.44s (60)
- 7. Hofmann (Ducati) 1m31.55s (74)
- 8. Hopkins (Suzuki) 1m31.80s (55)
- 9. Checa (Honda) 1m31.80s (-)
- 10. Roberts Jr. (KR) 1m31.90s (80)
- 11. Elias 1m32.00s (Honda) (-)
- 12. Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1m32.00s (54)
- 13. Nakano (Honda) 1m32.23s (48)