Valencia : Ducati - Day One
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Loris Capirossi made a perfect start to the final Grand Prix of MotoGP's 990cc era at Valencia this afternoon, setting the fastest lap of the day in warm, cloudy conditions.
Troy Bayliss, replacing the injured
Sete Gibernau, also got off to a brilliant start, going tenth quickest, even though he didn't use qualifying tyres.
Both Capirossi and Bayliss are very happy with Bridgestone's latest race rubber. Capirossi rode a 1m 33.0s with these tyres. He also tried one qualifying tyre but believes he will be able to go significantly quicker when he tries different Bridgestone qualifiers tomorrow.
Bayliss, who recently secured his second World Superbike crown with Ducati, enjoyed a warm welcome from the Ducati Marlboro Team, with which he contested the 2003 and 2004 MotoGP series.
The Australian immediately felt at home, working to get the best out of the Desmosedici GP6 for its last race. Four years ago Bayliss gave the GP3 its public debut here on the occasion of the 2002 Valencia GP.
Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team, 1st, 1m 32.220s
"I'm very happy because we've worked very well today - the team is being very reactive. We totally changed the set-up for this afternoon, so the bike is now pretty competitive here. We have learned so much this season, understanding that the Desmosedici's settings needs very careful attention to work at each track. And everything we have learned this year will be crucial for the future because the GP7 chassis is very similar to the GP6 chassis. I'm happy with the new race tyres that Bridgestone have brought here. I did a run of 15 laps on the same tyres, setting the fastest pace of the day in race trim without any endurance worries.
This season I have tried many different qualifying tyres and sometimes it's easy to lose your way with qualifiers, so it was good to test one today, even though it wasn't exactly what I wanted for this track. I'm very happy to have Troy as my team-mate here and I'm hoping to end the season as well as I can."
Troy Bayliss, Ducati Marlboro Team, 10th fastest, 1m 33.433s
"I'm very happy with the start I've had, considering this is my first time on Bridgestones. I haven't used a qualifier yet, so I'm doing okay. When I first went out the bike felt quite a bit different to the Superbike but after a couple of laps it felt like I've been on this bike before. Of course, a few things have changed since 2004, but it wasn't long before I felt reasonably good on it but a little bit away from perfect. Ernie (Ernesto Marinelli, Bayliss' Superbike crew chief) and myself don't know the Bridgestones, what temperature the front works best at and so on but we've got a few got a few good ideas to test tomorrow. Loris made a couple of changes this afternoon that really helped him, so now we know what to do. With Sete injured it made sense for me to come here, I want to do a good job but I'll just do what I can do."