Ducati dominates day two at Phillip Island

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The second day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island, Australia, proved to be a memorable one for Ducati with rookie GP rider Ruben Xaus crashing badly and factory rider Loris Capirossi setting the fastest time of the day.

Xaus lost control of his 2003 D’Antin Desmosedici coming out of a right hand corner shortly before lunch. The Spanish rider slid across the track and was still holding on to the bike when it crashed into the tyre wall.

He was airlifted to the local hospital with suspected neck injuries but it turned out that his injuries were not serious. He has been left with heavy bruising. It has not been decided whether or not he will ride again in the final day’s testing.

The strong wind died down for the second day of testing allowing all the riders to clock faster times. Marlboro Ducati rider Loris Capirossi took full advantage of the conditions to set the fastest lap of the day at 1:30.71, just 0.03 seconds out side the circuit’s best lap set by Valentino Rossi on a Honda last year, and over three tenths of a second faster than Colin Edwards fastest lap from the first day of the test.

2003 World Champion Valentino Rossi upped his pace on the Yamaha M1 by 0.65 seconds to take the second fastest time of the day 0.06 seconds faster than highest placed Honda rider Sete Gibernau.

Rossi was pleased with the time saying: “I’m very happy in general, the engine works very well here, and the difference is quite clear from the other engine spec we tried before.” But he admitted that his team still needs to find more horsepower from the engine before he can be truly competitive.

The first day’s fastest man, Honda rider Colin Edwards, finished fourth fastest with a time of 1:30.97, a tenth of a second faster than Camel Honda rider Max Biaggi.

Wednesday February 19 will see the last day of testing at Phillip Island with the GP season starting in earnest at the Phakisa Freeway, South Africa on April 18.

Times: Loris Capirossi 1:30.71; Valentino Rossi 1:30.75; Sete Gibernau 1:30.81; Colin Edwards 1:30.97; Max Biaggi 1:31.07; Nicky Hayden 1:31.18; Makoto Tamada 1:31.25; Troy Bayliss 1:31.56; Alex Barros 1:31.59; Ruben Xaus 1:31.64; Neil Hodgson 1:31.77; Marco Melandri 1:31.70; Carlos Checa 1:31.80; Norick Abe 1:33.74.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff