Capirossi stuns in Ducati test

Published: 02 December 2002

Ducati’s MotoGP squad will be waking up this morning sore from the volume of back-slapping doled out at Jerez yesterday. Loris Capirossi blazed around the Spanish circuit in a time that would have put him on pole for the MotoGP round there in May.

The Italian’s time of 1’42.10 set on the regular V4, rather than Twin Pulse, Desmosedeci, was just under Valentino Rossi’s time, set on the V5 Honda RCV, of 1’42.193. A statistic made even more impressive when you consider that it’s only Capirossi’s second time on a four-stroke MotoGP bike.

Capirossi is still under contract to his old West squad. So, until that expires on December 31, he can’t speak to the press, or sport Ducati livery on his leathers or bike.

Teammate Troy Bayliss by contrast set a personal best of 1’44.50 which would have seen him some 17 places behind Capirossi on the same grid. The times don’t tell the whole story though, since it was only the Australian’s second time at Jerez – the first was hardly ideal since the session was blighted by bad weather.

Ducati Corse’s Corrado Cecchinelli said: " These have been important tests for us. For the first time we were able to really put the Desmosedici through its paces and we are very satisfied with the times obtained and the reliability of our new engine.

" We are still in the development phase however and we know that there is a lot more work to do. At Jerez we were competitive with respect to this year’s GP times, and we’re obviously very satisfied with that result, but for sure our rivals have also improved since May so we mustn’t think that we are already in a good position.

" What we can say however is that the Desmosedici is going well right from the start and doesn't appear to have any structural problems, and that's positive " .