Exclusive: First HM Plant Ducati pictures

Published: 25 November 2002

MCN has been granted exclusive access to the HM Plant Ducati squad just days ahead of its first round of pre-season testing in Valencia, Spain. This is the first time its riders James Toseland and Chris Walker have seen the finished bikes. And now you can, too.

You can read the full interview with the squad and see our exclusive behind the fairings pictures of the HM Plant Ducati 998s in the December 4 issue of MCN.

The bikes are the same ones that Troy Bayliss and Ducati Corse teammate Ruben Xaus rode in WSB in 2002. The same bikes that took 14 race wins. And were only denied the title by an heroic effort by Honda’s Colin Edwards.

They’re Ducati 998RS F02s, which have a big-bore, short-stroke motor capable of making 188bhp at 13,000rpm.

All the bikes are still largely in their factory red colourscheme, HM Plant will only spray up the bikes in their race livery when the ink has dried on sponsorship deals.

Toseland told MCN: " I’ve seen what these bikes can do, while following Bayliss and Xaus – they’re absolutely awesome. "

Walker, who broke a bone in his foot in a accident while racing supermotos back in October, said: " I feel great, the cast comes off tomorrow, then its straight out to Valencia to test alongside the other teams. I just can’t wait to get on the bike – I’m so excited! "

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