Sachsenring : Ducati - Day One
The Ducati Marlboro Team was getting back to normal at the Sachsenring today, returning to its original 2006 line-up of Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau, following two events without Gibernau, who broke his left collarbone at last month's
Catalan GP. But neither Capirossi, who was injured in the same accident, nor Gibernau are back to 100 per cent fitness yet.
Capirossi's Desmosedici GP6s are adorned with the Italian tricolour this weekend to celebrate the Italian football team's victory in last Sunday's World Cup final, staged a few hours away in Berlin.
Nevertheless Capirossi put in an impressive performance in this afternoon's second practice session, clocking the third fastest lap, just 0.345 seconds off ‘pole position'. Gibernau also rode superbly, running ninth quickest, only 0.877 seconds off ‘pole' despite discomfort from his left collarbone, which was screwed and plated after last month's crash. Unluckily for the Spaniard, the Sachsenring is an anti- clockwise circuit with more than twice as many lefts as rights, which places extra stress on his injury.
Loris Capirossi (3rd fastest, 1m 23.490s)
"I'm still getting some pain from my chest at some points of there track where I have to make certain movements. But otherwise I can almost ride normally. We made a big modification to the set-up from the morning session to this afternoon which worked well, so already we're not so bad on race pace."
"We came here expecting it to be very hot but today was cooler so we ran softer tyres than we had expected. I used the same front throughout the afternoon session and did 18 laps with the same rear, running 23.7s near the end of the run.
We expect tomorrow to be hotter which will allow us to test the tyres that Bridgestone made especially for this track. If we can improve tomorrow we can be competitive for the race. I lost a lot of points at the last three races, so I need to recover them. I'm very happy to carry the Italian flag here because our national team did a great job last weekend. I will try to do my best here."
Sete Gibernau (9th fastest, 1m 24.022s)
"It's good to be back and pain-wise I'm okay, better than I expected to be honest. The collarbone bothers me a bit, I'm aware of the pain when I'm riding but it takes nothing away from me, that's the good point. The only thing that worries me right now is the strength of the left shoulder because I have no strength through the left- handers and there are a lot of lefts here. Right now I can do four or five laps and after that I'm done. But this is my first day on the bike, hopefully tomorrow we will be a bit better."
"I did do some training while I was away but it was inevitably limited and you can only really judge your strength when you're on the bike because this is the real test. The bike is working not so bad but right now it's more a battle to get me back into riding, getting used to the speeds and adapting myself to riding with this injury."