Suppo wants to focus on the 2006 championship
Ducati team manager Livio Suppo has firmly scotched persistent rumours that Ducati will give their 800cc MotoGP prototype an early debut at the final round of the 2006 World Championship.
The talk started in Japan, after
Ducati's 2007 machine, built to the new 800cc rule, was fastest at tests where Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha also had their new-generation prototypes on test.
The rumours gathered strength in Portugal, where the former F1 engineer Mario Illien's prototype was the first 800cc machine to see racing action. Up against this year's 990cc machines, the Ilmor gained a point for finishing 15th, after pitting for an electronic fault to be corrected.
"We have no plan to do it," said Suppo, after the race. "We have the possibility for Loris Capirossi to finish third in the championship, and we want to focus on that," he added.
After three wins, Capirossi is fourth overall, eight points behind fellow-Italian Marco Melandri.
Capirossi's three wins have contributed to a best-yet fifth MotoGP season for Bridgestone.
With one race remaining, Bridgestone teams had claimed three wins, nine podiums, and six pole positions. The previous best tally, in 2005, was two wins, eight podiums, and three poles.