"The bike and tyres are competitive"
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau kicked off their Australian Grand Prix in fine style today, running second and fourth fastest in the first two practice sessions.
The pair focused on preparing themselves
for Sunday's race at MotoGP's fastest racetrack, running only race tyres, rather than using qualifying tyres for one-off fast laps.
Capirossi's race pace was particularly impressive for a first day, the Italian clocking his best lap of the day on the 15th lap of a 17-lap run. Both men also tried a new- profile Bridgestone 16.5in rear slick which increases traction performance through Phillip Island track.
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 2nd fastest, 1m 30.310s
"I was worried that it would be really cold here but in fact the conditions aren't bad. We started today with a different set-up, then we changed one of the bikes and I think we found a good direction. The bike and tyres are competitive, so this afternoon I was able to do my best lap of the day on the 15th lap of a long run. After the Czech GP we had a long meeting with Bridgestone to prepare for these three flyaway races and I am very happy with the work they've done, they have perfectly responded to the feedback we gave them for Sepang and for here, especially considering the low track temperatures. In the past we have had problems with the low temperatures here but we have now solved that and I think we can be competitive for the last few races. So far we are okay, we will aim for another step forward tomorrow. I predict we will have a good bike for Sunday and it will be another tight race here."
SETE GIBERNAU, 4th fastest, 1m 30.693s
"Not so bad so far, we're pretty consistent on lap times. Also I'm getting better physically and I'm more relaxed about my left shoulder [Gibernau broke his left collarbone in June and has since undergone two operations to fix the injury] but I still need to get some more confidence back. The team is helping me to do that and Ducati and Bridgestone are working really hard too. We still need to make a bit of an improvement with our set-up for the race here. We have got the bike working on one set of tyres but we think that the new rear has got more potential, so we need to get the bike to work better with that extra grip."